Learning from minimal economic models

Erkenntnis 70 (1):81 - 99 (2009)
It is argued that one can learn from minimal economic models. Minimal models are models that are not similar to the real world, do not resemble some of its features, and do not adhere to accepted regularities. One learns from a model if constructing and analysing the model affects one’s confidence in hypotheses about the world. Economic models, I argue, are often assessed for their credibility. If a model is judged credible, it is considered to be a relevant possibility. Considering such relevant possibilities may affect one’s confidence in necessity or impossibility hypotheses. Thus, one can learn from minimal economic models.
Keywords Philosophy   Logic   Ethics   Ontology   Epistemology   Philosophy
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Julian Reiss (2012). The Explanation Paradox. Journal of Economic Methodology 19 (1):43-62.

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