This concluding chapter examines the enduring legacy of Hirschman's works. One reason for this is that his “world-view” is a skeptical optimism; another is a series of ideas, including explanatory arguments, that are themselves simple enough: exit and voice, or passions and interests, or obstacles and development. There is very little sense, in Hirschman's writing, of complexity or involution as a condition that is creditable in itself. He was an inspiring critic of successive varieties of economic thought, but his ideas cannot be mapped in any straightforward way on to a dichotomy of the “orthodox” versus the “heterodox,” the “rational” versus the “fully empirical,” or the “thin” versus the “thickly descriptive.” He aspired to both, and he embraced the conflict between them.
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