Contents
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  1. Complexity, Policymaking, and The Austrian Denial of Macroeconomics.Scott Scheall - forthcoming - In Bert Tieben, Victoria Chick & Jesper Jespersen (eds.), Routledge Handbook of Macroeconomic Methodology. Milton Park, Abingdon-on-Thames, Oxfordshire, England, UK: Routledge.
    Economists associated with the Austrian School of Economics are known to deny the value of macroeconomics as descended from the work of John Maynard Keynes and, especially, his followers. Yet, Austrian economists regularly engage in a related scientific activity: theorizing about the causes and consequences of economic fluctuations, i.e., the business cycle. What explains the Austrians’ willingness to engage in theorizing about the business cycle while denying the scientific import of macroeconomics? The present paper argues that the methodological precepts of (...)
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  2. The Two Blades of Occam's Razor in Economics: Logical and Heuristic.Giandomenica Becchio - 2020 - Economic Thought 9 (1):1.
    This paper is part of the general debate about the need to rethink economics as a human discipline using a heuristic to describe its object, about the need to explicitly reject the positivistic approach in neoclassical economics, and about the urgency to adopt a different methodology, grounded on a realistic set of initial assumptions able to cope with the complexity of the decision making process. The aim of this paper is to show the use of Occam's razor in the economic (...)
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  3. Functionalism and the role of psychology in economics.Christopher Clarke - 2020 - Journal of Economic Methodology 27 (4):292-310.
    Should economics study the psychological basis of agents' choice behaviour? I show how this question is multifaceted and profoundly ambiguous. There is no sharp distinction between "mentalist'' answers to this question and rival "behavioural'' answers. What's more, clarifying this point raises problems for mentalists of the "functionalist'' variety (Dietrich and List, 2016). Firstly, functionalist hypotheses collapse into hypotheses about input--output dispositions, I show, unless one places some unwelcome restrictions on what counts as a cognitive variable. Secondly, functionalist hypotheses make some (...)
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  4. Positivismo en México. Un estudio sobre la obra México: su evolución social / Positivism in Mexico. A Survey of the Work 'Mexico its social evolution'.Alberto Luis López & Elvira López Rodríguez - 2019 - Araucaria. Revista Iberoamericana de Filosofía, Política, Humanidades y Relaciones Internacionales 42 (21):85-107.
    En la segunda mitad del siglo XIX la filosofía positiva se consolidó como la corriente de pensamiento dominante en México, muchos pensadores la utilizaron como marco teórico para interpretar los acontecimientos pasados y proyectar elfuturo de la nación. Por su análisis, explicación e interpretación de la historia nacional México: su evolución social es la obra culminante del positivismo mexicano, pero para sorpresa nuestra ha sido poco estudiada por los especialistas, de ahí que sea necesario recuperarla. En este artículo nos damos (...)
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  5. Preferences and Positivist Methodology in Economics.Christopher Clarke - 2016 - Philosophy of Science 83 (2):192-212.
    I distinguish several doctrines that economic methodologists have found attractive, all of which have a positivist flavour. One of these is the doctrine that preference assignments in economics are just shorthand descriptions of agents' choice behaviour. Although most of these doctrines are problematic, the latter doctrine about preference assignments is a respectable one, I argue. It doesn't entail any of the problematic doctrines, and indeed it is warranted independently of them.
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  6. Reviews: Milton’s Positivism Found Wanting. [REVIEW]David Hammes - 2011 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 41 (3):398-419.
    Milton Friedman’s 1953 essay created controversy and consternation amongst economists. It provided a prescription, based on empirically generated predictive success, of how to do economics, yet many saw it as a concession of the search for truth and theoretical beauty within the discipline. This article reviews a 50th anniversary festschrift devoted to views of the essay. The purpose of the volume is to provide today’s reader with the essay, responses, and a guide to interpreting it. The volume is selective and (...)
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  7. Neoclassical Economics.Michael Moehler & Geoffrey Brennan - 2010 - In Mark Bevir (ed.), Encyclopedia of Political Theory. SAGE Publications.
    The term neoclassical economics delineates a distinct and relatively homogenous school of thought in economic theory that became prominent in the late nineteenth century and that now dominates mainstream economics. The term was originally introduced by Thorstein Veblen to describe developments in the discipline (of which Veblen did not entirely approve) associated with the work of such figures as William Jevons, Carl Menger, and Leon Walras. The ambition of these figures, the first neoclassicists, was to formalize and mathematize the subject (...)
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  8. PHD Thesis Summary: Intellectual Paths and Pathologies: How Small Events in Scholarly Life Accidentally Grow Big (2009).Altug Yalcintas - 2010 - Erasmus Journal of Philosophy and Economics 3 (1):123-125.
  9. The methodology of positive economics : Reflections on the Milton Friedman legacy.Uskali Mäki (ed.) - 2009 - Cambridge University Press.
    Milton Friedman's 1953 essay 'The methodology of positive economics' remains the most cited, influential, and controversial piece of methodological writing in twentieth-century economics. Since its appearance, the essay has shaped the image of economics as a scientific discipline, both within and outside of the academy. At the same time, there has been an ongoing controversy over the proper interpretation and normative evaluation of the essay. Perceptions have been sharply divided, with some viewing economics as a scientific success thanks to its (...)
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  10. Reading the methodological essay in twentieth century economics: Map of multiple perspectives.Uskali Mäki - 2009 - In The methodology of positive economics : Reflections on the Milton Friedman legacy. Cambridge University Press.
    Even outrageously unrealistic assumptions are just fine insofar as the theory or model involving them performs well in predicting phenomena of interest. Most economists and many non-economists will attribute this principle to Milton Friedman. Many will consider the principle itself outrageous, while others praise Friedman for having formulated it so persuasively.
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  11. Why Friedman's methodology did not generate consensus among economists?David Teira - 2009 - Journal of the History of Economic Thought 31 (2):201-214.
    In this paper I study how the theoretical categories of consumption theory were used by Milton Friedman in order to classify empirical data and obtain predictions. Friedman advocated a case by case definition of these categories that traded theoretical coherence for empirical content. I contend that this methodological strategy puts a clear incentive to contest any prediction contrary to our interest: it can always be argued that these predictions rest on a wrong classification of data. My conjecture is that this (...)
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  12. Filosofia y metodologia an la economia.Uskali Mäki - 2008 - In Juan José Jardón Urrieta (ed.), Temas de Teoria Economica y so Metodo. Universidade de Santiago de Compostela.
    Este documento analiza las siguientes cuestiones: 1) La metodología de la economía y su actual institucionalización. 2) La definición de Economía. 3) Las perspectivas de los economistas acerca de la Economía, sus métodos y justificación. 4) Comprobación y progreso: Popper y Lakatos.5) Los modelos y sus supuestos. 6) Persuasión retórica y verdad. 7) La Economía como un recurso para la Filosofía de la Ciencia. 8) Expansionismo explicativo y relaciones interdisciplinares.
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  13. Milton Friedman, the Statistical Methodologist.David Teira - 2007 - History of Political Economy 39 (3):511-28.
    In this paper I study Milton Friedman’s statistical education, paying special attention to the different methodological approaches (Fisher, Neyman and Savage) to which he was exposed. I contend that these statistical procedures involved different views as to the evaluation of statistical predictions. In this light, the thesis defended in Friedman’s 1953 methodological essay appears substantially ungrounded.
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  14. Value Judgements and Value Neutrality in Economics.Philippe Mongin - 2006 - Economica 73 (290):257-286.
    The paper analyses economic evaluations by distinguishing evaluative statements from actual value judgments. From this basis, it compares four solutions to the value neutrality problem in economics. After rebutting the strong theses about neutrality (normative economics is illegitimate) and non-neutrality (the social sciences are value-impregnated), the paper settles the case between the weak neutrality thesis (common in welfare economics) and a novel, weak non-neutrality thesis that extends the realm of normative economics more widely than the other weak thesis does.
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  15. Knowledge, planning, and markets: A missing chapter in the socialist calculation debates.John O'neill - 2006 - Economics and Philosophy 22 (1):55-78.
    This paper examines the epistemological arguments about markets and planning that emerged in a series of unpublished exchanges between Hayek and Neurath. The exchanges reveal problems for standard accounts of both the socialist calculation debates and logical empiricism. They also raise questions concerning the sources of ignorance and uncertainty in modern economies, and the role of market and non-market organisations in the distribution and coordination of limited knowledge, which remain relevant to contemporary debates in economics. Hayek had argued that Neurath's (...)
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  16. A Positivist Tradition in Early Demand Theory.David Teira - 2006 - Journal of Economic Methodology 13 (1):25-47.
    In this paper I explore a positivist methodological tradition in early demand theory, as exemplified by several common traits that I draw from the works of V. Pareto, H. L. Moore and H. Schultz. Assuming a current approach to explanation in the social sciences, I will discuss the building of their various explanans, showing that the three authors agreed on two distinctive methodological features: the exclusion of any causal commitment to psychology when explaining individual choice and the mandate to test (...)
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  17. What do economists analyze and why: Values or facts?Partha Dasgupta - 2005 - Economics and Philosophy 21 (2):221-278.
    Social thinkers frequently remind us that people differ in their views on what constitutes personal well-being, but that even when they don't differ, they disagree over the extent to which one person's well-being can be permitted to be traded off against another's. In this paper I show, by offering an account of the development of development economics, that in professional debates on social policy, economists speak or write as though they agree on values but differ on their reading of facts. (...)
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  18. Social science, ethics and utilitarianism A review of Leland B. Yeager's Ethics as Social Science: The Moral Philosophy of Social Cooperation.A. Hamlin - 2002 - Journal of Economic Methodology 9 (2):245-250.
  19. Reflection Without Rules: Economic Methodology and Contemporary Science Theory.D. Wade Hands - 2001 - Cambridge University Press.
    Reflection without Rules offers a comprehensive, pointed exploration of the methodological tradition in economics and the breakdown of the received view within the philosophy of science. Professor Hands investigates economists' use of naturalistic and sociological paradigms to model economic phenomena and assesses the roles of pragmatism, discourse, and situatedness in discussions of economic practice before turning to a systematic exploration of more recent developments in economic methodology. The treatment emphasizes the changes taking place in science theory and its relationship to (...)
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  20. Symposium: Data Mining.Roger E. Backhouse - 2000 - Journal of Economic Methodology 7 (2):171-277.
  21. Truth and progress in economic knowledge (edward elgar, 1997, X + 232 pages) explorations in economic methodology: From Lakatos to empirical philosophy of science (routledge, 1998; VII + 246 pages) Roger E. Backhouse. [REVIEW]Kevin D. Hoover - 2000 - Economics and Philosophy 16 (2):333-378.
  22. Alfred Schutz and economics as a social science.Allen Oakley - 2000 - Human Studies 23 (3):243-260.
    Over the years, a number of interpreters with an interest in economics have given some attention the work of Alfred Schutz. As intimated in this literature, the orientation of his delimited thought on economics stemmed from contacts with the Austrian school during his Vienna years. Probably because of this connection, there exists among these interpreters an inclination uncritically to align Schutz with the Austrians' thought. What will be argued in this paper is that in adopting such an uncritical position, each (...)
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  23. Popper and Tarski.David Miller - 1999 - In Ian Charles Jarvie & Sandra Pralong (eds.), Popper's Open society after fifty years: the continuing relevance of Karl Popper. New York: Routledge.
  24. Economics and reality.Tony Lawson - 1997 - New York: Routledge.
    There is an increasingly widespread belief, both within and outside the discipline, that modern economics is irrelevant to the understanding of the real world. Economics and Reality traces this irrelevance to the failure of economists to match their methods with their subject, showing that formal, mathematical models are unsuitable to the social realities economists purport to address. Tony Lawson examines the various ways in which mainstream economics is rooted in positivist philosophy and examines the problems this causes. It focuses on (...)
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  25. Rerum Cognoscere Causas.Frank Hahn - 1996 - Economics and Philosophy 12 (2):183.
    Professor Hausman has written an interesting and instructive book. Though I am by no means favourably disposed to methodology for economists,, I found reading Hausman enjoyable and I came away having learned things worth learning. But not all is well, largely because Hausman is a philosopher first and an economist a poor second. There are also important questions where one would have expected philosophic help which are not asked at all.
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  26. Kuhn's Paradigms and Neoclassical Economics: Reply to Dow.George Argyrous - 1994 - Economics and Philosophy 10 (1):123-126.
  27. Aristotelianism, apriorism, essentialism.Barry Smith - 1994 - In Peter Boettke (ed.), The Elgar Companion to Austrian Economics. Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgard. pp. 33-37.
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  28. The philosophy of Austrian economics. [REVIEW]Barry Smith - 1994 - The Review of Austrian Economics 7 (2):127-132.
    Review of The Philosophical Origins of Austrian Economics, by David Gordon. Auburn, Alabama: Ludwig von Mises Institute, 1993.
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  29. Testing, Rationality, and Progress: Essays on the Popperian Tradition in Economic Methodology.D. Wade Hands - 1993 - Roman & Littlefield.
    This book brings together ten previously published essays on the philosophy of economics and economic methodology. The general theme is the application of Karl Popper's philosophy of science to economics -- not only by Popper himself but also by other members of the "Popperian school." There are three major issues that surface repeatedly: the applicability of Popper's falsificationist philosophy of science; the applicability of I. Lakatos's "methodology of scientific research programs" to economics; and the question of Popper's "situational analysis" approach (...)
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  30. Verification in Economics and History: A Sequel to Scientifization, O. F. Hamouda and B. B. Price. London: Routledge, 1991, x + 182 pages. [REVIEW]Harold Kincaid - 1993 - Economics and Philosophy 9 (2):322.
  31. Economics: mathematical politics or science of diminishing returns?Alexander Rosenberg - 1992 - Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
    Economics today cannot predict the likely outcome of specific events any better than it could in the time of Adam Smith. This is Alexander Rosenberg's controversial challenge to the scientific status of economics. Rosenberg explains that the defining characteristic of any science is predictive improvability--the capacity to create more precise forecasts by evaluating the success of earlier predictions--and he forcefully argues that because economics has not been able to increase its predictive power for over two centuries, it is not a (...)
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  32. Popper, the Rationality Principle and Economic Explanation.D. Wade Hands - 1991 - In G. K. Shaw (ed.), Economics, Culture, and Education: Essays in Honor of Mark Blaug. Edward Elgar. pp. 108-119.
  33. Thirteen Theses on Progress in Economic Methodology.D. Wade Hands - 1990 - Finnish Economic Papers 3:72-76.
  34. A la recherche du temps perdu : Réponse à M.M. Lafleur, Rosenberg et Salmon.Philippe Mongin - 1988 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 18 (4):537-549.
    A rejoinder to commentators of the paper by P. Mongin, "Le réalisme des hypothèses et la "Partial Interpretation View"", Philosophy of the Social Sciences, 18, 1988, p. 281-325. (This paper is listed and made available by Philpapers.).
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  35. Le réalisme des hypothèses et la Partial Interpretation View.Philippe Mongin - 1988 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 18 (3):281-325.
    The article discusses Friedman's classic claim that economics can be based on irrealistic assumptions. It exploits Samuelson's distinction between two "F-twists" (that is, "it is an advantage for an economic theory to use irrealistic assumptions" vs "the more irrealistic the assumptions, the better the economic theory"), as well as Nagel's distinction between three philosophy-of-science construals of the basic claim. On examination, only one of Nagel's construals seems promising enough. It involves the neo-positivistic distinction between theoretical and non-theoretical ("observable") terms; so (...)
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  36. Plausibility in Economics.Bart Nooteboom - 1986 - Economics and Philosophy 2 (2):197.
    According to the instrumentalism of Friedman and Machlup it is irrelevant whether the explanatory principles or “assumptions” of a theory satisfy any criterion of “plausibility,” “realism,” “credibility,” or “soundness.” In this view the main or only criterion for selecting theories is whether a theory yields empirically testable implications that turn out to be consistent with observations. All we should require or expect from a theory is that it is a useful instrument for the purpose of prediction. Considerations of the “efficiency” (...)
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  37. Lakatosian Consolations for Economics.Alexander Rosenberg - 1986 - Economics and Philosophy 2 (1):127.
    The F-twist is giving way to the methodology of scientific research programs. Milton Friedman's “Methodology for Economics” is being supplanted as the orthodox rationale for neoclassical economics by Imre Lakatos' account of scientific respectability. Friedman's instrumentalist thesis that theories are to be judged by the confirmation of their consequences and not the realism of their assumptions has long been widely endorsed by economists, under Paul Samuelson's catchy rubric “the F-twist.” It retains its popularity among economists who want no truck with (...)
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  38. Austrian Economics and Austrian Philosophy.Barry Smith - 1986 - In Smith W. Grassl and B. (ed.), Austrian Economics and Austrian Philosophy. Helm Croom. pp. 1-36.
    Austrian economics starts out from the thesis that the objects of economic science differ from those of the natural sciences because of the centrality of the economic agent. This allows a certain a priori or essentialistic aspect to economic science of a sort which parallels the a priori dimension of psychology defended by Brentano and his student Edmund Husserl. We outline these parallels, and show how the theory of a priori dependence relations outlined in Husserl’s Logical Investigations can throw light (...)
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  39. The Emperor's Newest Clothes.Martin Hollis - 1985 - Economics and Philosophy 1 (1):128-133.
    There is a simple joy in finding that the emperor has positively no clothes and especially when the finger is pointed in ribald good English. Donald McCloskey does this service in “The Rhetoric of Economics”, where he argues with force and wit that “modernism” (meaning, roughly, positivism, as in “Positive Economics”) will do as an account neither of what economists do nor of what it makes philosophical sense for them to attempt. Instead they should recognize that models are always metaphors (...)
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  40. Review Symposium : Douglas W. Hands G. C. Archibald Joseph Agassi On S. J. Latsis, ed. Method and Appraisal in Economics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1976. Pp. viii + 218. $17.50 The Methodology of Economic Research Programmes. [REVIEW]Douglas W. Hands - 1979 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 9 (3):293-303.