Scientific realism as a challenge to economics (and vice versa)

Journal of Economic Methodology 18 (1):1-12 (2011)
The implications of scientific realism in regard to economics depend on what one takes scientific realism to mean and on whether one lets its contents to depend on the peculiar characteristics of the discipline of economics. Here a revisionist line is adopted and scientific realism is reduced to a minimal version that is able to accommodate as large a portion of science as possible. Among other things, characterizations of minimal realism do not require, as standard formulations of scientific realism do, mind-independent existence, unobservables, and actual or likely epistemic and technological success. To accommodate economics, realism has to allow for ideas such as constitutive science-independence, commonsensibles, and the possibility of success. The task of turning the possibility into actual success is difficult, so requires attitudes such as humility and fallibilism as well as activities such as redesigning the institutions of inquiry.
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DOI 10.1080/1350178X.2011.553372
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