Cambridge University Press (2001)
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 the movement away from a rules-based view of economic methodology. The work will be of interest to all economists concerned with methodological issues as well as philosophers and others studying the relationships between economics and contemporary science theory.