Philosophy of Economics (Handbook of the Philosophy of Science)
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Part of the Handbook of the Philosophy of Science Series edited by:
Dov M. Gabbay King's College, London, UK; Paul Thagard University of Waterloo, Canada; and John Woods University of British Columbia, Canada.
Philosophy of Economics investigates the foundational concepts and methods of economics, the social science that analyzes the production, distribution and consumption of goods and services. This groundbreaking collection, the most thorough treatment of the philosophy of economics ever published, brings together philosophers, scientists and historians to map out the central topics in the field. The articles are divided into two groups. Chapters in the first group deal with various philosophical issues characteristic of economics in general, including realism and Lakatos, explanation and testing, modeling and mathematics, political ideology and feminist epistemology. Chapters in the second group discuss particular methods, theories and branches of economics, including forecasting and measurement, econometrics and experimentation, rational choice and agency issues, game theory and social choice, behavioral economics and public choice, geographical economics and evolutionary economics, and finally the economics of scientific knowledge. This volume serves as a detailed introduction for those new to the field as well as a rich source of new insights and potential research agendas for those already engaged with the philosophy of economics.
economics. In Fact and Fiction in Economics. Realism, Models, and Social Construction, ed. U. M¨ aki. Cambridge University Press, 90-104, 2002. [Mankiew, 1995] N. Mankiew. The Growth of Nations, Brookings Papers on Economic Activity 25: 275-310, 1995. [Morgan and Morrison, 1999] M. Morgan and M. Morrison. Models as Mediators. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999. [Nelson and Winter, 1982] R. Nelson and S. Winter. An Evolutionary Theory of Economic Change. Cambridge: Harvard University
MacKenzie. An Engine, Not a Camera. How Financial Models Shape Markets. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2006. [M¨ aki, 1990] U. M¨ aki. Scientific realism and Austrian explanation, Review of Political Economy, 2, 310-344, 1990. [M¨ aki, 1995] U. M¨ aki. Diagnosing McCloskey, Journal of Economic Literature, 33, 1300-1318, 1995. [M¨ aki, 1996] U. M¨ aki. Scientific realism and some peculiarities of economics. In Realism and Anti-Realism in the Philosophy of Science, pp. 425–445, R. S. Cohen et al., eds.
econometrics, applied economics and the use of evidence by economic theorists. For such inquiries, the sociology of science, including Collins’s studies of replication in natural science, were useful. However, theoretical progress had to be thought of differently. There had been attempts to apply MSRP to theoretical questions, but these were problematic (see, for example, [Weintraub, 1985; Backhouse, 1998]). Backhouse  approached the problem by reverting to the Lakatos of Proofs and
philosophical theme is both old and new. In the nineteenth century the word model usually referred to concrete objects, oftentimes to the so-called mechanical models, that were built in an effort to grasp the functioning of unobserved theoretical entities (e.g. [Bolzmann, 1911]). Since then, the kinds of things called models in science have multiplied: they can be physical three-dimensional things, diagrams, mathematical equations, computer programs, organisms and even laboratory populations.
feedback from empirical facts about the world to the theory that is used to structure the empirical measurement of causes. The VAR program has that much right. The identification assumptions of the Cowles Commission program are incredible. Unfortunately, the VAR program also needs structure to proceed. The questions are: how little structure can we get away with and still have something useful to say? and how are we to learn about structure? I want to conclude by briefly describing my research