David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Journal of Economic Methodology 2 (1):105-122 (1995)
Most economists will agree that Milton Friedman is a brilliant economist. Yet, the majority assessment is that his work is ideologically flawed, and that the Marshallian economics he advocates has been superseded by Walrasian economics. In this paper I argue that the reason for this negative assessment is that Friedman, like Alfred Marshall before him, tried to straddle a fence between policy and logical-deductive theory, combining the artistic science of the historical and institutional school with the logical-deductive science of economics under a single category which Friedman called positive economics. This combination worked for Marshall, but did not work for Friedman, I argue that the profession's criticisms of Friedman stand, if he is viewed as a positive scientist as the profession currently defines positive economics - as logical deductive exercises. But that, I argue, is not how Friedman should be viewed; he should, instead, be viewed as an economic artist - as an applied policy economist extraordinaire - whose primary flaw has been his failure to make clear the importance of the artistic component of his economic science.
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References found in this work BETA
Alexander Rosenberg (1992). Economics: Mathematical Politics or Science of Diminishing Returns? University of Chicago Press.
M. Blaug (1983). The Methodology of Economics. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 34 (3):289-295.
Alfred Marshall (1891). Principles of Economics. Mind 16 (61):110-113.
John Neville Keynes (1891). The Scope and Method of Political Economy. Mind 16 (63):408-412.
Citations of this work BETA
Arthur M. Diamond (2009). Fixing Ideas: How Research is Constrained by Mandated Formalism. Journal of Economic Methodology 16 (2):191-206.
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