Economics and the Philosophy of Science / Edition 1

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This important new book examines the reliability of this practice, while providing economists, social scientists, and historians with necessary background to discuss methodological matters with authority.
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Editorial Reviews

Economists and other social scientists in the twentieth century have often supported economic arguments by referring to positions taken by philosophers of science. This important book examines the reliability of this practice, while providing economists, social scientists, and historians with the necessary background to discuss methodological matters with authority. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195082746
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 1/28/1993
  • Edition description: FACSIMILE
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 272
  • Product dimensions: 6.13 (w) x 9.19 (h) x 0.87 (d)

Meet the Author

Tubingen University
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Table of Contents

Part I Philosophy of Science: Rationality, Growth, Ignorance, Objectivity, and Criticism
1. The Problems 3
2. The Decline of Logical Positivism 7
3. The Pendulum Swings in the Other Direction: Sociological Explanations in Science 12
Michael Polanyi: Personal and Tacit Knowledge 12
Ludwik Fleck: Denkkollektiv and Denkstil 14
Thomas Kuhn's Scientific Revolutions 16
4. The Popperian School 27
Sir Karl Popper 27
Hume's Problem, or the Problem of Induction 29
Critical Rationalism and the Tie to Falsification 29
Why Falsification Fails 32
Imre Lakatos: Metaphysics Transformed into the Methodology of Scientific Research Programs 35
The Revival of the Duhem Thesis 38
Behind the Methodology of Scientific Research Programs 39
Paul Feyerabend, the "Dadasoph," 44
"Anything Goes!" and Proliferation 45
What Feyerabend is Actually Against is Modern Education 48
Why Feyerabend is Really a "Rationalist in Disguise," or Why Feyerabend Doesn't Deserve to be a "Darling of the Left," 49
Dadasophia or Dadasophistry? 50
William Bartley: Pancritical Rationalism 53
5. Whither the History of Science? 77
History and the Philosophy of Science 77
Stephen Toulmin 79
Norwood Russell Hanson 81
6. Conclusions 85
Part II Economics and the Philosophy of Science
7. Philosophy's Influence on Economics: Early Exchanges 91
8. Sir Karl Popper's Philosophy of the Social Sciences: A Disjointed Whole 103
Economics: Queen of the Social Science 104
The Polemical Element: The Case Against Historicism 108
Rationality and Situational Logic 111
Why Falsification in Economics Fails 116
The Neglected Messages: Clarity and Criticism as Objective Method 129
9. Lakatos and Kuhn: Science as Consensus 142
Why Economicus Academicus Chose Lakatos as His Darling 144
Semantics Revisited: How "Paradigm" and "Research Program" Have Come to Mean Anything and Everything 144
Paradigms and SRPs Applied 145
The Drive to Be "Normal Scientists," 146
How "Normal" are Economists? 150
Why no Normal Scientist Would Ever Want to be Either "Normal" or "Revolutionary," 151
A Short Digression on the Development of Economics as a Profession 152
Communis Opinio Doctorum 167
Appendix I A Short History of the Is-Ought Problem 181
Appendix II Economists Whose First Work or Works Deal with Methodological and/or Philosophical Topics 184
Bibliography 186
Author Index 235
Subject Index 244
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