chapter  Seventeen
19 Pages

What Are the Questions?

Joan Robinson criticized mainstream economic theory in the familiar way before going on to some of the other questions. These questions provide an important key to understanding Robinson. She was not so much disillusioned with the subject of economics as with the economists themselves. Some of her contribution to economic analysis was in the questions she put, questions which few economists of her professional standing were raising. She had said to colleagues and students alike that one have to know the question before they can provide the answer. Though Robinson never claimed to be a philosopher of science, her questions on methodology implied that techniques used by economists must be reexamined from the point of view of philosophy, for many of the questions raised, especially beginning with her Economic Philosophy, were, in fact, philosophical. Joan Robinson spent her adult life in Cambridge, where she is remembered for her strong and independent views.