Thanks for the reply. As you may have heard, there’s this pandemic going around, so, as it turns out, I have some time on my hands…

I’m pretty sure most scientists pay no attention to Western philosophy’s successes or failures.

I do not concern myself with the shape of the Earth. But if I did not know it to be round, I would concern myself with it. If philosophy had something to add, scientists would be reading it. The giants on whose shoulders today’s scientists like to say they stand did the reading for them. That is what I mean by using philosophers as foils. The philosophers are the dogs who did not bark. Scientists are aware of their fecklessness and so have dismissed them.

You say the errors of neoclassical economics can be fixed.

No, I referred only to the errors of fools who think they understand neoclassical economics but do not understand it.

There’s no such beast as the Homo economicus.

If you raise the income tax to 100%, do you doubt that a recession will follow? Does bad money not drive out good? Who are the agents of such behavior if not, pardon my Latin, homines economici? Keynes observed that the markets can remain irrational longer than you can remain solvent. But irrational markets are usually uninformed (or misinformed) markets, not randomly irrational. The real question is how rational one must be to be called homo economicus. In high school physics, we studied friction-free surfaces and elastic collisions. These things do not exist either, but they are useful for making approximate predictions. Homon E. need only be as rational as is necessary for the CBO to be close enough for government work.

The evidence—including the boom and bust cycles that show the market isn’t self-regulating but has to be repaired by government action; … Saying you can “expand the system to include government intervention as a form of free-market collective bargaining” is like saying you can preserve neoclassical economics by calling the economic phenomena that conflict with its models “externalities.”

I disagree. Calling them externalities would be like calling them externalities. I am calling them internalities.

If the actions of a democratic government can be called part of a free market, neoclassical economics would be unfalsifiable, which again would be consistent with calling it a cult.

Yes, consistent. But saying a tuna hoagie has fish in it would be consistent with calling it an ocean. I have no idea whether treating government as negotiation continued by other means renders neoclassical economics unfalsifiable, but I’m pretty sure it does not render it false.

Collective bargaining gets you to socialism via cooperation and taxation—which is supposed to be the opposite of a self-regulating market.

Let’s be clear that I am not defending laissez-faire capitalism, which is simply greed hiding behind economics. But “self-regulation” depends on what one defines as the “self,” and I consider self-government to be part of self-regulation conceptually. I don’t deny that laissez-faire proponents have a different scope of “self” in mind. I’m just saying that they are wrong. Laissez-faire economics that excludes government as an economic actor in a self-regulating market is an error. Whether its proponents are knave or fools is beside the point.

Markets run on economic transactions, whereas governments are political entities.

I do not see the distinction. What’s a boycott? How is boycotting a product different from outlawing it? That’s where the game theory comes in. The law simply coordinates the boycott to prevent defection. But economically, there’s no difference. Were Koufax and Drysdale socialists? Or were they homines economici?

To the extent that game theory shares the egoistic hyperrationalism of the neoclassical models, game theory won’t account for genuine political decision-making, but only for an Ayn Randian spin on politics.

On the contrary, game theory is anti-Randian, at least in my experience. I cannot find a self-styled objectivist who recognizes the idea of a tragedy of the commons. Their solution is always to privatize the commons and let Coasian bargaining deal with regulation. Game theory teaches that there are plus-sum opportunities that a rational actor would seek to exploit through coordination, and, to prevent defection, rational actors have delegated the coordination authority to a committee of experts and representatives called “government.” That’s hardly Randian, best I can tell. (The “egoistic hyperrationalism” is something you made up. Forgive me if I just ignore it as empty invective.)

Self-description is not privileged.

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