New Directions in Economic Methodology (Economics as Social by Roger E. Backhouse

By Roger E. Backhouse

Roger E. Backhouse (ed.)

Recent years have witnessed a dramatic development in curiosity in financial method. even if, this paintings has moved in a few considerably varied instructions, and it's not effortless to determine how a number of of those can be reconciled. The dominance of ‘falsificationism’ and the tips linked to Kuhn, Lakatos and Popper that had emerged by way of the overdue Seventies has long past, and has been changed through various kind of particular approaches.

In New instructions in fiscal method the various figures such a lot heavily linked to crucial of those new methods supply new and definitive statements in their positions. the end result displays the variety of labor at the moment being undertaken in financial method. a lot, yet on no account all, of this paintings displays a dissatisfaction with the present perform of economics and through the publication numerous makes an attempt to reform or change latest practices are proposed.

The booklet starts off with chapters which learn the various colossal questions which underlie economics. What are—and what should still be—the goals of economics? How may those be pursued? It proceeds with a piece which considers what's left of ‘falsificationism’. This comprises chapters which recommend, criticize and reformulate what's nonetheless the dominant place inside monetary methodology.

The 3rd and fourth sections of the publication mirror the level to which contemporary advancements are encouraged by means of parts outdoor economics, particularly philosophy (both analytical and continental), discourse research and numerous types of analytical concept. The views addressed the following contain varied incarnations of realism, pragmaticism, these of the ‘rhetoric’ college and different techniques which see the financial system as a ‘text’.

Contents:

1 creation: NEW instructions IN fiscal METHODOLOGY
Roger E.Backhouse 1

Part I normal perspectives
2 ENDS AND ability within the method OF ECONOMICS
Terence W.Hutchison

3 THE paintings OF ECONOMICS via THE NUMBERS
David Colander

4 WHAT ARE THE QUESTIONS?
Philip Mirowski

5 THE SOCIOLOGY OF medical wisdom: a few options at the POSSIBILITIES
D.Wade Hands

Part II Falsificationism: for and against

6 WHY it's not that i am A CONSTRUCTIVIST: CONFESSIONS OF AN UNREPENTANT POPPERIAN
Mark Blaug 111

7 PROPOSALS FOR THE restoration of financial PRACTICE
Bruce J.Caldwell 140vi NEW instructions IN monetary METHODOLOGY

8 clinical considering with no medical technique: perspectives OF POPPER
Lawrence A.Boland 157

9 THE LAKATOSIAN LEGACY IN monetary METHODOLOGY
Roger E.Backhouse 175

Part III Philosophical views on economics
10 KUHN, LAKATOS AND the nature OF ECONOMICS
Daniel M.Hausman 197

11 what's the COGNITIVE prestige of monetary THEORY?
Alexander Rosenberg 218

12 REORIENTING THE ASSUMPTIONS ISSUE
Uskali Mäki 237

13 A REALIST idea FOR ECONOMICS
Tony Lawson 257

14 PRAGMATISM, PRAGMATICISM AND monetary METHOD
Kevin D.Hoover 285

Part IV Economics as discourse
15 find out how to DO A RHETORICAL research, AND WHY
Donald N.McCloskey 318

16 METAPHOR AND ECONOMICS
Willie Henderson 343

17 THE financial system AS TEXT
Vivienne Brown 368

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Additional info for New Directions in Economic Methodology (Economics as Social Theory)

Sample text

To present them as something other than they are is to be falsely scientific and that is a fundamental methodological error in the art of economics. Currently, as Mayer nicely discusses (1992:132–51), economists violate this rule all the time. In fact, they violate it so much that all economists reading another economist’s work can discount the scientific claim and reasonably correctly interpret the results. But as Mayer also discusses, there is a tendency not to do robustness tests, which would be required to make empirical work convincing and in the art of economics one would do, and report whatever empirical work that is helpful to guide you to a policy conclusion.

Another would be the rules of optimal taxation, such as the Ramsey rule, which elegantly captures specific insights about efficiency and taxation. An even more elegant model is general equilibrium theory, which captures insights into the aggregate economy. There is an empirical aspect to this search for general theories; somehow one must determine when a generalization, law or theory is to be accepted as tentatively true and when a generalization is to be rejected. Most discussion in the philosophy of science and in the methodology of economics has focused on rules relevant to generalization, formalizing and accepting or rejecting these generalizations or theories.

I certainly did not describe the whole of economics as consisting of tautologies, nor did I say that all ‘pure theory’, though without empirical content, was ‘without any grip on the real world’. On the contrary, I pointed out that the ‘propositions of pure theory’, by providing precisely defined concepts, could and sometimes did facilitate the formulation of precise empirical questions. In Chapter II, section 3 (pp. 33–6), entitled ‘The use and significance of propositions or pure theory’, I observed that: ‘A sharply and clearly defined system of concepts enables sharp and clear answers to be obtained from empirical investigation’, adding the Baconian apophthegm ‘prudens interrogatio dimidium scientiae’.

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