A conversation with Terence Hutchison

Journal of Economic Methodology 9 (3):359-377 (2002)
The pigeonholing of Hutchison's methodology as positivist, ultra-empiricist or Popperian has militated against a full appreciation of his more complex position. In this as-verbatim-as-possible account of an afternoon's discussion with Hutchison, it is the directly personal manner in which we gain insights, rather than simply the insights themselves, that we hope will help towards a re-assessment. We learn of his non-positivist view that economics is an empirical-historical discipline distinct from the natural sciences; and his rejection of Popper's view that prediction in economics can and should be based on laws like the law of gravity. We hear of his wariness of relying on the hypothetico-deductivist methods of Popper and later positivists in a subject such as economics, and his support instead for the methodological views of Jacob Viner and the inductive methods associated with the historically and institutionally detailed approaches of Cliffe Leslie, Wesley Clair Mitchell and Henry Phelps Brown.
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D. Wade Hands (2009). Introduction. Journal of Economic Methodology 16 (3):287-291.
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John Hart (2003). Terence Hutchison's 1938 Essay: Towards a Reappraisal. Journal of Economic Methodology 10 (3):353-373.
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