We open with a symposium on a jointly authored book by the first two editors of our journal, David F. Ruccio and Jack Amariglio. The symposium is long in the making because Postmodern Moments in Modern Economics was published in 2003 and the commentators finalized their pieces prior to the 2008 crash. Yet, at the same time, the context of the dual crises of the capitalist world economy and modern economics suddenly gave the book and, along with it, the symposium a new meaning.
Questions explored in the book, quite pertinent for the readership of the journal even in the absence of the crisis context, became more poignant and prescient than many would be willing to concede prior to the crash: the epistemological and ontological presuppositions of modern economics and its inevitable contamination by postmodern moments; the status of (fundamental) uncertainty in the eyes of economic actors (i.e., entrepreneurs, workers, bureaucrats, etc.) as proposed by Keynesian economists; the representations of the body in the history of economics from Smithian classical political economy to mid-century, high modernist general equilibrium analysis; the questions of gender difference and subjectivity as posed by feminist economists; the problem of value in modern economics as formulated by institutional economists (both as in the problem of the determination of economic value and the role that ethical stances and moral judgments play in economics and economies); the constitutive function that the rope of order serves in domesticating the overdetermined and disorderly processes of competition in Marxist economics; and the hierarchically structured field of diverse kinds of economic discourse, ranging from ‘‘scientific’’ to ‘‘everyday’’ economics.