Beyond Positivism: Economic Methodology in the Twentieth Century

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Since its publication in 1982, Beyond Positivism has become established as one of the major works in economic methodology, with its rejection of positivism and advocacy of pluralism profoundly influencing economics over the last decade. This edition contains a new preface outlining the major developments in the area since the book's first appearance.
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Overview

Since its publication in 1982, Beyond Positivism has become established as one of the major works in economic methodology, with its rejection of positivism and advocacy of pluralism profoundly influencing economics over the last decade. This edition contains a new preface outlining the major developments in the area since the book's first appearance.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780043303276
  • Publisher: Routledge
  • Publication date: 12/28/1982
  • Pages: 260

Table of Contents

Preface to revised edition
Acknowledgments
1 Introduction 1
Pt. 1 Twentieth Century Philosophy of Science
2 Logical Positivism
The Vienna Circle 11
The Logical Positivist Program 13
3 The Positivist Tradition Matures - The Emergence of Logical Empiricism
The Search for a Criterion of Cognitive Significance 20
The Status, Structure, and Function of Theories and Theoretical Terms 23
The Nature of Scientific Explanation 27
A Representative Logical Empiricist 30
4 The Philosophical Attack on Logical Empiricism
Confirmation, Induction, and Popper's Methodological Falsificationism 38
Theories and Theoretical Terms 45
The Nature of Scientific Explanation 53
5 Contemporary Philosophy of Science - The Growth of Knowledge Tradition
Thomas Kuhn 70
Paul K. Feyerabend 79
Imre Lakatos 85
Contemporary Philosophy of Science - A Dilettante's Review and Commentary 89
Pt. 2 Some Essays on Positivism and Economic Methodology
6 Robbins versus Hutchison - The Introduction of Positivism in Economic Methodology
Robbins's Essay 99
Robbins and the Austrians 103
Hutchison's Introduction of Positivism 106
Philosophical Evaluation 112
The Austrian Revival 117
The Inadequacy of the Usual Attacks on Austrian Methodology 119
Some Doubts about Falsificationism in Economics 124
The Critique of Austrian Methodology 128
7 Hutchison versus Machlup - On Indirect Testing and the Rationality Postulate
Machlup's Attack 139
Hutchison's Ambiguous Response 142
Philosophical Evaluation 143
The Rationality Postulate - An Overview 146
Some Questions Concerning the Rationality Postulate 147
8 Friedman's Methodological Instrumentalism
Friedman's Marketing Masterpiece 173
Philosophical Evaluation 175
A Restatement - Friedman as a Methodological Instrumentalist 178
The Philosophical Rejection of Instrumentalism 179
The Methodological Critique of Friedman's Position 181
9 Samuelson - Operationalism, Descriptivism, and Explanation in Economics
Samuelson's Operationalism and Machlup's Critique 189
An Anachronistic View of Scientific Explanation 192
Wong's Critique of Revealed Preference Theory 195
Does Explanation Exist in Economics? 199
Pt. 3 Provisional Answers to Some Unsettled Questions
10 Is Philosophy of Science Useful for Understanding Methodology
The Benefits of Understanding the Philosophical Issues 211
Can Philosophy of Science Make Economic Methodology Better? 215
Can Other Approaches Be Taken? 216
11 Prescription, Description, and Theory Appraisal
Confirmation and Falsificationism 221
The Theory Choice Problem and the Growth of Knowledge Tradition 223
The Integration of Prescription and Description 228
12 Confirmation and Falsificationism in Economics
Confirmationism and the Practice of Economists 231
Falsificationism and the Rhetoric of Methodologists 235
13 A Program for Economic Methodologists - Methodological Pluralism
Methodological Pluralism 245
Answers to Some Possible Objections 250
Notes for Further Reading - Philosophy of Science 253
Notes for Further Reading - Methodology of Economics 256
Bibliography - Philosophy of Science 258
Bibliography - Methodology of Economics 265
Index 275
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