Discussion Questions on Ideology

(All of the following questions refer to Backhouse, Marx, and Schumpeter, and each of the three authors has a different perspective on each of the questions.)

1. What is an ideology? What does it mean to say that a claim is ideological? Are ideologies necessarily false? Are ideological claims necessarily false or faulty in some other way? Are ideologies avoidable?

2. What are the effects of ideologies on work in economics? Are they uniformly negative? To what extent are they avoidable?

3. What are the causes or sources of ideologies in general and in economics in particular?

4. What is the distinction between corrupt economic theorizing and ideological economic theorizing? Is ideological influence a kind of corruption?

5. How large a role do you think that ideology plays in contemporary macro economics?