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Learning From the Global Financial CrisisCreatively, Reliably, and Sustainably$
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Paul Shrivastava and Matt Statler

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780804770095

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804770095.001.0001

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Truth, Beauty, and the Financial Crisis

Truth, Beauty, and the Financial Crisis

Evaluating What Works

(p.17) 1 Truth, Beauty, and the Financial Crisis
Learning From the Global Financial Crisis

Robert Richardson

Matt Statler

Stanford University Press

This chapter examines the claim made by the Nobel laureate Paul Krugman (2009) that the global financial crisis resulted from confusion among economists who have allowed their own appreciation of the beauty of theoretical models to cloud their judgment about the truth of those models. Although organizational theorists have considered the relationship between truth and beauty periodically over the years, few attempts have been made to take stock of and integrate the debates among contemporary philosophers about the distinction between facts and values. This chapter traces the history of these philosophical debates, aiming to develop a pragmatic theory of meaning that has general implications for organizational theory and specific implications in view of the ongoing financial crisis. It implies that economists and organizational theorists can no longer afford to sustain the metaphysical assumption of referentiality.

Keywords:   Paul Krugman, global financial crisis, organizational theory, pragmatic theory, organizational theorists

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