Reflection without Rules: Economic Methodology and Contemporary Science Theory

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"Reflection without Rules offers a comprehensive, pointed exploration of the methodological tradition in economics and the breakdown of the received view within the philosophy of science. Professor Hands investigates the increased role of naturalistic and sociological approaches in methodological debates and examines the roles of pragmatism, discourse, and situatedness in discussions of scientific knowledge before turning to a systematic exploration of more recent developments in economic methodology. The treatment emphasizes the changes taking place in science theory and its relationship to the movement away from a rules-based view of economic methodology. The work will be of interest to all economists concerned with methodological issues as well as philosophers and others studying the relationships between economics and contemporary science theory."--BOOK JACKET.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Wade Hands [is] the perfect author...he reads everything...he is a master of the critical survey. His treatment is even-handed...Reflection without Rules contains a balanced critical review of the latest developments in economic methodology. [E]very economist interested in methodology...should have this book on his or her shelf." Bruce Caldwell, University of North Carolina, Greensboro, Southern Economic Journal

"This fine book is a comprehensive and careful survey of the current situation in the methodology of economics...[the] author wears his impressive erudition gracefully and well. The book is sophisticated and at the same time naive in the best sense. It will fortunately be the standard reference for work in the methodology of economics for some time to come." Isis

"We have not have a Blaug-like representation of methodological discourse, historicized, contextualized. We have not since Blaugh had a reliable volume that our students can use, one book about which we say say, 'read this and you'll know where the field stands'. But now we have that book. Wade Hands has been a major participant in these various debates over the past twenty years, and over that time he has become a leader among his colleagues in the methodology of economics. Hand's Reflection Without Rules is indeed a worthy successor to Blaug's The Methodology of Economics... the absolutely accurate phrase or label from Hand's own treatment should be 'Economic Science Studies (ESS)'. We have a reconfiguring of economic methodology away from the philosophy of science to science studies. Hands lovingly and accurately traces these moves in this volume. Methodology is dead. May ESS prosper."

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521497152
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 4/28/2001
  • Pages: 492
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 1.26 (d)

Table of Contents

1 Introduction 1
1.1 Economic Methodology 3
1.2 Contemporary Science Theory 4
1.3 Changing the Subject 6
1.4 A Reader's Guide 8
2 The Methodological Tradition in Economics 13
2.1 The Millian Tradition in Economic Methodology 14
2.2 Variations on Positivist Themes 48
3 The Breakdown of the Received View within the Philosophy of Science 70
3.1 The Received View within the Philosophy of Science 72
3.2 The Attack on the Received View 95
3.3 First Round Responses 110
3.4 Setting the Stage for the Naturalistic Turn 125
4 The Naturalistic Turn 128
4.1 Naturalizing Epistemology 130
4.2 Psychology and the Cognitive Approach to Knowledge 141
4.3 Encouragement from Darwin: Evolutionary Epistemology 154
4.4 Eliminative Materialism and the Philosophy of Mind 165
5 The Sociological Turn 172
5.1 Society and Scientific Knowledge 175
5.2 The Sociology of Scientific Knowledge 186
5.3 Nature, Society, SSK, and Economics 199
6 Pragmatism, Discourse, and Situatedness 213
6.1 The Pragmatic Turn 215
6.2 Neopragmatism and the Discursive Turn 241
6.3 Feminist Epistemology and Economics 260
7 Recent Developments in Economic Methodology 274
7.1 The Popperian Tradition 275
7.2 The Millian Tradition 304
7.3 Realist Themes 320
7.4 Cognitive and Semantic Themes 334
8 The Economic Turn 353
8.1 The Economic Turn in Contemporary Science Theory 354
8.2 The Economics of Science 361
8.3 The Economics of Scientific Knowledge (ESK) 365
8.4 Some Final Thoughts on the Economic Turn 388
9 Conclusion 393
9.1 Lessons from the New Economic Methodology 396
9.2 A Few Issues of Concern 402
Refernces 408
Web Sites 460
Index 463
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