Criticizing the critique. Some methodological insights into the debate on the state of economic theory in the face of the post 2008 crisis

Bank&Credit 41 (4):7-22 (2010)
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Abstract

The aim of this paper is to investigate the current debate on the state of economics from a methodological perspective. We claim that the majority of contributions criticizing modern economics are not based on clear methodological principles and thus many of them are not correct. We show this with respect to such issues as the problem of realisticness of models and their assumptions, the role of mathematics in economics, the way we conceptualize the relation between economics (theory) and economy (empiria), as well as the general problem of comparing theories. In doing so we use the research apparatus taken form the philosophy of science and also we benefit a lot from recent developments in the philosophy of economics. Finally, we show one of the paradoxes of that debate, namely that many critics of economics accuse economists of using the wrong language (mathematics) while they do not use proper language themselves while criticizing economics, namely the apparatus taken from the philosophy of science.

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Lukasz Hardt
University of Warsaw

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