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Sunday, September 02, 2012

Pareto on Ideology

"This is why [Pareto] preferred the practical wisdom of the man of affairs to the predictions of the social scientists. For he had little faith in the predictive value of any sociology, including his own. To make a successful kill on the Stock Exchange, it was better to trust the hunch of the successful stock broker than the skills of the academic economist, for the same reason that the experienced traveller with no map is more likely to be able to traverse the Peloponnese than a clever fellow with a poor topographical map. Pareto emerges, not as the opponent of the use of reason in society, and still less as the fatalistic exponent of a biological determinism, but as the opponent of ideology and all its claims to be scientifically true..." -- p. 47, Introduction to Pareto: Sociological Writings

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