Pragmatism in economic methodology: The Duhem-Quine thesis revisited [Book Review]

Foundations of Science 8 (1):3-21 (2003)
Abstract
Contemporary developments in economicmethodology have produced a vibrant agenda ofcompeting positions. These include, amongothers, constructivism, critical realism andrhetoric, with each contributing to the Realistvs. Pragmatism debate in the philosophies of thesocial sciences. A major development in theneo-pragmatist contribution to economicmethodology has been Quine's pragmatic assaulton the dogmas of empiricism, which are nowclearly acknowledged within contemporaryeconomic methodology. This assault isencapsulated in the celebrated Duhem-Quinethesis, which according to a number ofcontemporary leading philosophers of economics,poses a particularly serious methodologicalproblem for economics. This problem, asreflected in Hausman's analysis, consists ofthe inability of economics to learn fromexperience, thereby subverting the capacity totest economic theories. In this paper wedispute this position. Our argument is basedon a combination of Quine's holism with VanFraassen's constructive empiricism, especiallythe latter's analysis of empirical adequacy andhis pragmatic approach to explanation. Theresulting reorientation of economic methodologyrestores the capacity of economics to learnfrom experience and reinstates the imperativeof developing alternatives to orthodoxtheorizing in economics.
Keywords causal holism  Duhem-Quine thesis  economic methodology  pragmatism
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
 
Download options
PhilPapers Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 10,747
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Similar books and articles
Analytics

Monthly downloads

Added to index

2009-01-28

Total downloads

22 ( #76,759 of 1,098,844 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

5 ( #57,750 of 1,098,844 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature


Discussion
Start a new thread
Order:
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.