Fact and Fiction in Economics: Models, Realism and Social Construction

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Bringing together some of the leading figures in the field of economic methodology and philosophy, this collection provides a thoughtful and balanced overview of the current state of debate about the status of economic knowledge. Representing the most current thinking on a topic of enduring interest to economists and philosophers and other social scientists, the book is notable for the extent to which authors from opposing schools of thought engage seriously with their opponents.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521009577
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 2/1/1903
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 404
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 0.91 (d)

Meet the Author

USKALI MÄKI is Professor at Erasmus University of Rotterdam and Academic Director of the Erasmus Institute for Philosophy and Economics.

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Table of Contents

Notes on the contributors
I Introduction
1 The dismal queen of the social sciences 3
II Setting the scene
2 Ugly currents in modern economics 35
3 Modern economics and its critics 57
4 Some nonreasons for nonrealism about economics 90
III Economic models and economic reality
5 Credible worlds: the status of theoretical models in economics 107
6 The limits of causal order, from economics to physics 137
7 Econometrics and reality 152
8 Models, stories, and the economic world 178
9 Economic models and reality: the role of informal scientific methods 202
10 Truthlikeness and economic theories 214
IV The constitution of economic reality
11 Rational choice, functional selection, and "empty black boxes" 231
12 The reality of common cultures 257
13 Collective acceptance and collective attitudes: on the social construction of social reality 269
14 Hayek and cultural evolution 285
15 Putting evidence in its place: John Mill's early struggles with "facts in the concrete" 304
V The institutions of economics
16 You shouldn't want a realism if you have a rhetoric 329
17 The more things change, the more they stay the same: social realism in contemporary science studies 341
18 Economists: truth-seekers or rent-seekers? 356
Index 376
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