Saturday, December 19, 2009

Re: Castles in the Sky #2

Some blog followers may be interested in a recent discussion-list post of the above title [Hake (2009a). The abstract reads:

ABSTRACT: H.G. Callaway, in his Dewey-L post “Castles in the Sky” referred to an article reporting that Alan Greenspan had defended his record as Fed Chairman and stated that "speculative excess" is inevitable in long periods of prosperity. Callaway then suggested that:

“the answer to excessive speculation is empiricism and the introduction of a more scientific attitude. Surely, the attitude of the scientific thinker, the orientation to facts, experiment and attempts at falsification is important in our attempts to control the excesses of philosophical speculation and the related tendency toward, let us say, 'castles in the sky'.”

But philosophers are not the only ones who build “castles in the sky.”

The sky castle building of traditional economists such as Alan Greenspan and Lawrence Summers, who seem to regard the economic system as divorced from the ecosystem, has been roundly criticized by ecological economists such as Herman Daly.

Mihai Sarbu, in response to Callaway, opined that “ 'castles in the sky' could be a timely conversation topic, given the seriousness of the current environmental challenges and the upcoming meeting in Copenhagen: how can John Dewey's theory of inquiry be applied to educating for ecological responsibility?”

I think education in Dewey's inquiry mode plus e.g., Daly & Townsend's "Valuing The Earth: Economics, Ecology, Ethics," and Tim Jackson's “Prosperity without Growth: Economics for a Finite Planet” might help.

To access the complete 19 kB post please click on

REFERENCES [Tiny URL's courtesy .]

Hake, R.R. 2009. “Re: Castles in the Sky #2,” online on the OPEN! AERA-L archives at . Post of 28 Nov 2009 11:42:22-0800 to AERA-L, Dewey-L, Net-Gold, Phys-L, and PhysLrnR. The abstract only was sent to several discussion lists.

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