In October 2014, I was invited to give a talk at the University of Cape Town’s economics department. I dutifully prepared a 20-minute presentation. At the exact time of my talk a technician was crouched in the hollow of the podium, trying to get the technology to work. I mumbled on, cautiously shifting my stance, over and again, lowering and raising the tone of my voice, and fidgeting with paper copies of my talk. I was generally trying to make sure that what was projected on the screen was more or less consistent with what I was saying, between dropping my gaze at my notes, the man at my feet and the audience. I did manage to get a few key points across, one of which drew on the work of Tony Lawson of the Cambridge University economics faculty and his book, Economics and Reality. The other was around Alfred Marshall’s book Principles of Economics (1890), and his belief that new social orders and epochs usually require new ways of thinking. I remember these for two reasons, one bein...

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