Prophecy, eclipses and whole-sale markets: A case study on why data driven economic history requires history of economics, a philosopher's reflection
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
In this essay, I use a general argument about the evidential role of data in ongoing inquiry to show that it is fruitful for economic historians and historians of economics to collaborate more frequently. The shared aim of this collaboration should be to learn from past economic experience in order to improve the cutting edge of economic theory. Along the way, I attack a too rigorous distinction between the history of economics and economic history. By drawing on the history of physics, I argue that the history of a discipline can be a source of important evidence in ongoing inquiry. My argument relies on the claim that it is a constitutive element of science that evidence is never discarded forever and is thus historical in nature. In the final section, I offer a case study by explaining a research proposal that turns on a long-running data-set Babylonian whole-sale prices of six commodities noted in pre-Hellenistic and Hellenistic times. To motivate my reading of this data-set, I critically discuss Aristotle's successful attempt to distinguish between astrology and political economy.
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
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
K. P. (2003). Theory-Ladenness of Evidence: A Case Study From History of Chemistry. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 34 (2):351-368.
Drucilla K. Barker & Edith Kuiper (eds.) (2003). Toward a Feminist Philosophy of Economics. Routledge.
Uskali Mäki (ed.) (2001). The Economic World View: Studies in the Ontology of Economics. Cambridge University Press.
Eric Schliesser (2005). Galilean Reflections on Milton Friedman’s "Methodology of Positive Economics," with Thoughts on Vernon Smith’s "Economics in the Laboratory". Philosophy of the Social Sciences 35 (1):50-74.
Herbert Simon (1998). Economics as a Historical Science. Theoria 13 (2):241-260.
Edith Kuiper & Jolande Sap (eds.) (1995). Out of the Margin: Feminist Perspectives on Economics. Routledge.
Stanley L. Engerman (1980). III. Counterfactuals and the New Economic History. Inquiry 23 (2):157 – 172.
Eric Schliesser (2011). Four Species of Reflexivity and History of Economics in Economic Policy Science. Journal of the Philosophy of History 5 (3):425-445.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads64 ( #66,102 of 1,796,225 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #468,795 of 1,796,225 )
How can I increase my downloads?