Thursday, March 8, 2012

Michael Emmett Brady’s Papers on Keynes: A Bibliography

I am deeply immersed in the biography of John Maynard Keynes at the moment. I am also rapidly coming to the point in my readings where Keynes publishes his Treatise on Probability (1921). That being so, I will start a list below of papers by Michael Emmett Brady on Keynes’s contribution to probability theory and on broader issues:
Brady, Michael Emmett, 1983. The Foundation of Keynes’s Macrotheory: His Logical Theory of Probability and its Application in the General Theory and After, Ph.D. Dissertation, University of California, Riverside.

Brady, Michael Emmett, 1987. “J. M. Keynes’ Theory of Evidential Weight: Its Relation to Information Processing Theory and Application in the General Theory,” Synthese 71: 37–60.

Brady, Michael Emmett, 1988. “J. M. Keynes’s Position on the General Applicability of Mathematical, Logical and Statistical Methods in Economics and Social Science,” Synthese 76.1: 1–24.

Brady, Michael Emmett and Howard B. Lee, 1989. “Dynamics of Choice Behavior: The Logical Relation Between Linear Objective Probability and Nonlinear Subjective Probability,” Psychological Reports 64: 91-97.

Brady, Michael Emmett, 1990. “The Mathematical Development of Keynes’s Aggregate Supply Function in the General Theory,” History of Political Economy 22.1: 167-172.

Brady, Michael Emmett, 1993. “J. M. Keynes’s Theoretical Approach to Decision-Making under Conditions of Risk and Uncertainty,” The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 44.2: 357–376.

Brady, Michael Emmett, 1994. “Keynes, Pigou and the Supply Side of the General Theory,” History of Economics Review 21: 34–46.

Brady, Michael Emmett, 1994. “A Note on the Keynes-Pigou Controversy,” History of Political Economy 26.4: 697–705.

Brady, Michael Emmett, 1994. “On the Application of J. M. Keynes’s Approach to Decision Making,” International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 8.2: 99–112.

Brady, Michael Emmett, 2010. “A Comparison-Contrast of Adam Smith, JM Keynes and Jeremy Bentham on Probability, Risk, Uncertainty, Optimism-Pessimism and Decision Making with Applications Concerning Banking, Insurance and Speculation,” SSRN Working Paper Series.

Brady, Michael Emmett and Rogério Arthmar, 2010. “Keynes’ Lower-Upper Bound Interval Approach to Probability,” SSRN Working Paper Series (February 2).

Brady, Michael Emmett, 2010. “How to Use Keynes’s Conventional Coefficient of Risk and Weight, c, to Clear Up Misunderstandings and Confusions About Keynes’s Views on the Use on His Principle of Indifference Versus the Use of Laplace’s Principle of Nonsufficient Reason,” SSRN Working Paper Series (November 27).

Brady, Michael Emmett, 2011. “Comparing J. M. Keynes’s and F. Von Hayek’s Differing Definitions of Uncertainty as it Relates to Knowledge: Keynes’s Unavailable or Missing Knowledge Concept Versus Hayek’s Dispersal of Knowledge Concept,” SSRN Working Paper Series.

Brady, Michael Emmett, 2011. “Keynes, Mathematics and Probability: A Reappraisal,” SSRN Working Paper Series, August 31.
This is a quick list. No doubt I’ve left things out. I will update as needed.

Note that other treatments can be found in Carabelli (1988); Fitzgibbons (1988); O’Donnell (1989); Moggridge (1992: 143–166); and (Skidelsky 1992: 74–89). Other relevant works are in the bibliography below.


Bateman, Bradley W. 1987. “Keynes’s Changing Conception of Probability,” Economics and Philosophy 3: 97-119.

Carabelli, Anna M. 1988. On Keynes’s Method, Macmillan, Basingstoke.

Cottrell, A. 1993. “Keynes’s Theory of Probability and its Relevance to His Economics: Three Theses,” Economics and Philosophy 9: 25-51.

Davidson, Paul. 1991. “Is Probability Theory Relevant for Uncertainty? A Post Keynesian Perspective,” Journal of Economic Perspectives 5.1: 129-143.

De Carvalho, Fernando J. Cardim. 1988. “Keynes on Probability, Uncertainty, and Decision Making,” Journal of Post Keynesian Economics 11.1: 66-81.

Fitzgibbons, Athol. 1988. Keynes’s Vision: A New Political Economy, Clarendon, Oxford.

Gillies, D. 2006. “Keynes and Probability,” in R. Backhouse and B. Bateman (eds.), The Cambridge Companion to Keynes Cambridge University Press, Cambridge and New York. 199-216.

Moggridge, D. E. 1992. Maynard Keynes: An Economist’s Biography, Routledge, London.

O’Donnell, R. M. 1989. Keynes: Philosophy, Economics and Politics: The Philosophical Foundations of Keynes’s Thought and their Influence on his Economics and Politics, Macmillan, Basingstoke.

Ramsey, F. P. 1989 [1922]. “Mr Keynes on Probability,” British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 40.2: 219-222.

Roncaglia, Alessandro. 2009. “Keynes and Probability: An Assessment,” European Journal of the History of Economic Thought 16.3: 489-510.

Rotheim, Roy J. 1988. “Keynes and the Language of Probability and Uncertainty,” Journal of Post Keynesian Economics 11.1: 82-99.

Skidelsky, R. J. A. 1992. John Maynard Keynes: The Economist as Saviour, 1920–1937 (vol. 2), Macmillan, London.


  1. I'm currently partway through the Arthmar/Brady paper on this topic and am finding it very helpful.

    How odd that I should look up from it and see this new post!

  2. @Anonymous: What a pleasant coincidence, then! I will agree with you that the Arthmar/Brady paper you mention is "very helpful"...even though I don't quite understand the mathematics behind it. I believe that paper is now being prepared for publication as "Boole, Keynes, and the interval approach to probability" at Italy's History of Economic Ideas.

    @Lord Keynes: Have you read Dr. Brady's dissertation? If not, can you get access to it? Also, another article by Dr. Brady I think you should add would be his article in International Studies in the Philosophy of Science.

  3. Blue Aurora@Mar 9, 2012 07:40 AM

    No, I haven't read the dissertation.

    I have now added “On the Application of J. M. Keynes’s Approach to Decision Making.”

  4. Lord Keynes: I see. Out of curiosity, have you since corresponded with Dr. Michael Emmett Brady?

    Also, Dr. Michael Emmett Brady has published in the journal Psychological Reports. Here's a link to one of his articles in the aforementioned journal.

  5. Thanks for this new article. I have added it.

    No, I've not had any correspondence recently. Matters might change when I start discussing Keynes and probability, which I intend to do as soon as my biographical readings on Keynes reach about 1921 in his life.

  6. I see. Keep in mind that Lord Robert Skidelsky's assessment of John Maynard Keynes's probability theory is according to Dr. Michael Emmett Brady, deficient. This would be because Lord Skidelsky is trained as a historian, not a mathematician. Please read this SSRN working paper, which also criticizes Murray Rothbard and Richard von Mises.

    So I highly suggest e-mailing Dr. Michael Emmett Brady on these matters for an accurate and correct perspective on Keynes's probability theory.

    Finally, here are Dr. Brady's two articles in the journal History of Political Economy.

  7. The most accurate and correct perspective on Keynes' theory is his Treatise. I give my potted version at . The interval probabilities that Brady focusses on are very important, but there is much more to Keynes.