New Directions in Economic Methodology (Economics as Social Theory)

New Directions in Economic Methodology (Economics as Social Theory)

Roger E. Backhouse

Language: English

Pages: 404

ISBN: 0415096375

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


Roger E. Backhouse (ed.)

Recent years have witnessed a dramatic growth in interest in economic methodology. However, this work has moved in a number of significantly different directions, and it is not easy to see how several of these might be reconciled. The dominance of ‘falsificationism’ and the ideas associated with Kuhn, Lakatos and Popper that had emerged by the late 1970s has gone, and has been replaced by a range of more or less exclusive approaches.

In New Directions in Economic Methodology some of the figures most closely associated with the most important of these new approaches provide new and definitive statements of their positions. The result reflects the diversity of work currently being undertaken in economic methodology. Much, but by no means all, of this work reflects a dissatisfaction with the current practice of economics and in the course of the book various attempts to reform or replace existing practices are proposed.

The book begins with chapters which examine some of the big questions which underlie economics. What are—and what should be—the aims of economics? How might these be pursued? It proceeds with a section which considers what is left of ‘falsificationism’. This includes chapters which advocate, criticize and reformulate what is still the dominant position within economic methodology.

The third and fourth sections of the book reflect the extent to which recent developments are influenced by areas outside economics, especially philosophy (both analytical and continental), discourse analysis and various forms of analytical theory. The perspectives addressed here include different incarnations of realism, pragmaticism, those of the ‘rhetoric’ school and other approaches which see the economy as a ‘text’.

Contents:

1 INTRODUCTION: NEW DIRECTIONS IN ECONOMIC METHODOLOGY
Roger E.Backhouse 1

Part I General perspectives
2 ENDS AND MEANS IN THE METHODOLOGY OF ECONOMICS
Terence W.Hutchison

3 THE ART OF ECONOMICS BY THE NUMBERS
David Colander

4 WHAT ARE THE QUESTIONS?
Philip Mirowski

5 THE SOCIOLOGY OF SCIENTIFIC KNOWLEDGE: SOME THOUGHTS ON THE POSSIBILITIES
D.Wade Hands

Part II Falsificationism: for and against

6 WHY I AM NOT A CONSTRUCTIVIST: CONFESSIONS OF AN UNREPENTANT POPPERIAN
Mark Blaug 111

7 TWO PROPOSALS FOR THE RECOVERY OF ECONOMIC PRACTICE
Bruce J.Caldwell 140vi NEW DIRECTIONS IN ECONOMIC METHODOLOGY

8 SCIENTIFIC THINKING WITHOUT SCIENTIFIC METHOD: TWO VIEWS OF POPPER
Lawrence A.Boland 157

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

Part III Philosophical perspectives on economics
10 KUHN, LAKATOS AND THE CHARACTER OF ECONOMICS
Daniel M.Hausman 197

11 WHAT IS THE COGNITIVE STATUS OF ECONOMIC THEORY?
Alexander Rosenberg 218

12 REORIENTING THE ASSUMPTIONS ISSUE
Uskali Mäki 237

13 A REALIST THEORY FOR ECONOMICS
Tony Lawson 257

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

Part IV Economics as discourse
15 HOW TO DO A RHETORICAL ANALYSIS, AND WHY
Donald N.McCloskey 318

16 METAPHOR AND ECONOMICS
Willie Henderson 343

17 THE ECONOMY AS TEXT
Vivienne Brown 368

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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