Tag Archive

David Hackett Fischer

Zombie Ideas In U.S. Intellectual History: An Etymological And Epistemological Study

I first ran across the phrase “zombie ideas” in Paul Krugman’s writings, either here or here—probably the latter. In the first post from November 2007, Krugman refers to this document from the Health Policy Institute, titled “Lies, Damned Lies, and Health Care Zombies: Discredited Ideas That Will Not Die.” That study introduces the following phrase in its text: “These false ideas (or “zombies”) carry with them implicit policy recommendations bearing on some aspect of health care financing” (p. 6). The HPI piece was written in 1998. Although I have found several other instances, beyond HPI and Krugman, where the phrase Read more