Mirowski’s Machine Dreams

Document Type


Publication Date

Winter 2003


Taylor & Francis


Machine Dreams (Mirowski 2002) is a unique and provocative book. It would be an understatement to say that it represents a breath of fresh air in the field of the history of economic thought: it is perhaps better described as a sirocco blowing on off the plains of Indiana. But if Mirowski offers us intellectual history with an edge, we should not be distracted by the flash. This is serious scholarship evidencing deep reflection, and anyone who has attempted something comparable can appreciate the enormous amount of work that has gone into identifying, developing, and sustaining its argument. We can best honour this effort by getting below its surface distractions, reading it closely, and probing its unresolved tensions. Let there be no mistake about it, however: this is not your father’s history of thought.