Rosalind Among the Economists Or Why Jaques Marries Sequentially a Stag, a Motley Fool, and a Religious Convert All the While Instructing Touchstone to Marry Audrey Properly and not with a Marred Text




Shakespeare’s play As You Like It shows explicitly the psychological and socialeffects of the bodily humors as they are enacted by each of the characters.The effects of pure humors in characters who have political power reverberatethrough the social order and force the politically subordinate characters torespond within their own humoral ability. The very stability of the purehumors creates instability throughout the social world. The humors actwithin what can be described as an economy, with exchange and resourcemanagement. This likeness to economic functions gives rise, in this paper, toa discussion of the humors within recent and contemporary economics, andthe paper concludes that Rosalind's strategy of enacting multiple humors ina destabilizing manner allows for greater social stability. Economists, then,should consider strategic instability as a way to avoid “Minsky moments,”or the widespread instability that stems from too much stability. This hopefor controlled instability is developed through readings of works by JamesKenneth Galbraith, Hyman Minsky, and Paul Krugman among others. Thefinal suggestion is to work towards a more feminist conception of flow andinstability in economic theory and policymaking, with the hope of creating asystem more able to manage external shocks through the use of gendered andhumoral management strategies.

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