David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Journal of Economic Methodology 19 (4):375-390 (2012)
In a series of articles later collected in his book The Lost Art of Economics, David Colander argues that the dichotomous distinction of positive and normative economics has misled economists into treating applied policy economics as part of positive economics and hence adopting the methodology of positive economics for applied policy analysis. Colander therefore urges a reintroduction of the art of economics and calls for a serious discussion on the appropriate methodology for applied policy work. This paper first explores some points not thoroughly examined by Colander in his arguments regarding the art of economics, in particular on its scope and the nature of judgements in the art of economics. It then examines the potential challenges to the tripartite division of economics, the presupposition of Colander's arguments for the art of economics, by examining, respectively, Tony Lawson's and Daniel Hausman's discussion on positive economics as a separate body of knowledge
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