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  1. Foundations of Contemporary Revealed Preference Theory.D. Wade Hands - 2013 - Erkenntnis 78 (5):1081-1108.
    This paper examines methodological issues raised by revealed preference theory in economics: particularly contemporary revealed preference theory. The paper has three goals. First, to make the case that revealed preference theory is a broad research program in choice theory—not a single theory—and understanding this diversity is essential to any methodological analysis of the program. Second, to explore some of the existing criticisms of revealed preference theory in a way that emphasizes how the effectiveness of the critique depends on the particular (...)
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  • Functionalism and the Role of Psychology in Economics.Christopher Clarke - 2020 - Journal of Economic Methodology 27 (4):292-310.
    Should economics study the psychological basis of agents’ choice behaviour? I show how this question is multifaceted and profoundly ambiguous. There is no sharp distinction between ‘mentalist’ answ...
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  • From the Characterization of ‘European Philosophy of Science’ to the Case of Philosophy of the Social Sciences.Wenceslao J. Gonzalez - 2015 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 29 (2):167-188.
    How distinct is European philosophy of science? The first step is to characterize what is or might be considered as ‘European philosophy of science’. The second is to analyse philosophy of the social sciences as a relevant case in the European contribution to philosophy of science. ‘European perspective’ requires some clarification, which can be done from two main angles: the historical approach and the thematic view. Thus, there are several structural and dynamic things to be considered in European philosophy of (...)
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  • Are We Witnessing a Revolution in Methodology of Economics? About Don Ross's Recent Book on Microexplanation'.Maurice Lagueux - 2008 - Erasmus Journal for Philosophy and Economics 1 (1):24-55.
    The paper aims to assess whether the ideas developed by DonRoss in his recent book Economic theory and cognitive science:microexplanation, which relates neoclassical economics to recentdevelopments in cognitive science, might revolutionize the methodologyof economics. Since Ross challenges a conception of economicsassociated with what is pejoratively called “Folk psychology”, the paperdiscusses ideas of the philosopher Daniel Dennett on which thischallenge is largely based. This discussion could not avoid bearing onquestions such as the nature of consciousness, the interpretation ofontological realism, the relations (...)
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  • Political Epistemology.Jeffrey Friedman - 2014 - Critical Review: A Journal of Politics and Society 26 (1-2):1-32.
    ABSTRACTNormative political epistemologists, such as epistemic democrats, study whether political decision makers can, in principle, be expected to know what they need to know if they are to make wise public policy. Empirical political epistemologists study the content and sources of real-world political actors' knowledge and interpretations of knowledge. In recent years, empirical political epistemologists have taken up the study of the ideas of political actors other than voters, such as bureaucrats and politicians. Normative political epistemologists could follow this lead (...)
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  • The Eclipse of Value-Free Economics. The Concept of Multiple Self Versus Homo Economicus.Aleksander Ostapiuk - 2020 - Wrocław, Polska: Publishing House of Wroclaw University of Economics and Business.
    The books’ goal is to answer the question: Do the weaknesses of value-free economics imply the need for a paradigm shift? The author synthesizes criticisms from different perspectives (descriptive and methodological). Special attention is paid to choices over time, because in this area value-free economics has the most problems. In that context, the enriched concept of multiple self is proposed and investigated. However, it is not enough to present the criticisms towards value-free economics. For scientists, a bad paradigm is better (...)
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  • Écueils des Théories de la Rationalité.J. Nicolas Kaufmann - 1999 - Dialogue 38 (4):801-826.
    Un grand nombre de problèmes dont traite aujourd'hui la théorie de la décision reposent sur des problématiques qui appartiennent à des approches philosophiques, méthodologiques et théoriques fort différentes et dont l'auteur de Choix rationnel et vie publique déplore à juste titre l'absence d'unité intrinsèqueEn effet, les racines de la théorie contemporaine du choix rationnel ont des ramifications dans trois traditions philosophiques qui ont été maintenues sans entretenir de contacts: théories philosophiques de l'action d'Aristote à Hume, à Kant et à la (...)
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  • New Directions in Corporate Governance and Finance: Implications for Business Ethics Research.Lori Verstegen Ryan, Ann K. Buchholtz & Robert W. Kolb - 2010 - Business Ethics Quarterly 20 (4):673-694.
    Corporate governance and finance are dynamic academic fields that offer myriad opportunities for business ethics analysis. Within the corporate governance triad in recent years, shareholders have increased their power over boards of directors and executives through both regulation and movements to change corporate by-laws. The impact of board characteristics on firm performance has proven elusive, leading to questions concerning board processes and individual director beliefs and behaviors. At the same time, CEOs have lost considerable power, leaving many struggling to regain (...)
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  • In Defence of Revealed Preference Theory.Johanna Thoma - 2021 - Economics and Philosophy 37 (2):163-187.
    This paper defends revealed preference theory against a pervasive line of criticism, according to which revealed preference methodology relies on appealing to some mental states, in particular an agent’s beliefs, rendering the project incoherent or unmotivated. I argue that all that is established by these arguments is that revealed preference theorists must accept a limited mentalism in their account of the options an agent should be modelled as choosing between. This is consistent both with an essentially behavioural interpretation of preference (...)
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  • Selection and Explanation.Alexander Bird - 2006 - In Rethinking Explanation. Springer. pp. 131--136.
    Selection explanations explain some non-accidental generalizations in virtue of a selection process. Such explanations are not particulaizable - they do not transfer as explanations of the instances of such generalizations. This is unlike many explanations in the physical sciences, where the explanation of the general fact also provides an explanation of its instances (i.e. standard D-N explanations). Are selection explanations (e.g. in biology) therefore a different kind of explanation? I argue that to understand this issue, we need to see that (...)
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  • Prediction and Novel Facts in the Methodology of Scientific Research Programs.Wenceslao J. Gonzalez - 2015 - In Philosophico-Methodological Analysis of Prediction and its Role in Economics. Springer Verlag. pp. 103-124.
    In the methodology of scientific research programs (MSRP) there are important features on the problem of prediction, especially regarding novel facts. In his approach, Imre Lakatos proposed three different levels on prediction: aim, process, and assessment. Chapter 5 pays attention to the characterization of prediction in the methodology of research programs. Thus, it takes into account several features: (1) its pragmatic characterization, (2) the logical perspective as a proposition, (3) the epistemological component, (4) its role in the appraisal of research (...)
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  • Cultural Values, Economic Growth and Development.Symphorien Ntibagirirwa - 2009 - Journal of Business Ethics 84 (3):297 - 311.
    Neo-liberal economics is built upon the claim that the freedom to pursue one's self-interest and rational choice leads to economic growth and development. Against this background neo-liberal economists and policymakers endeavoured to universalise this claim, and insistently argue that appropriate economic policies produce the same results regardless of cultural values. Accordingly, developing countries are often advised to embrace the neo-liberal economic credo for them to escape from the trap of underdevelopment. However, the economic success of South East Asia on the (...)
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  • The Anti-Philosophical Stance, the Realism Question and Scientific Practice.Dan Mcarthur - 2006 - Foundations of Science 11 (4):369-397.
    In recent years a general consensus has been developing in the philosophy of science to the effect that strong social constructivist accounts are unable to adequately account for scientific practice. Recently, however, a number of commentators have formulated an attenuated version of constructivism that purports to avoid the difficulties that plague the stronger claims of its predecessors. Interestingly this attenuated form of constructivism finds philosophical support from a relatively recent turn in the literature concerning scientific realism. Arthur Fine and a (...)
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  • Scientific Innovation and the Limits of Social Scientific Prediction.Alex Rosenberg - 1993 - Synthese 97 (2):161 - 181.
    Philosophers and historians of philosophy have come to recognize that at the core of logical positivism was an attachment to prediction as the necessary condition for scientific knowledge.1 The inheritors of their tradition, especially the Bayesians among us, continue to seek a theory of confirmation that reflects this epistemic commitment. The importance of prediction in the growth of scientific knowledge is a commitment I share with the positivists, so I do not blanch at that designation, much less employ it as (...)
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  • The Two Blades of Occam's Razor in Economics: Logical and Heuristic.Giandomenica Becchio - 2020 - Economic Thought 9 (1):1.
    This paper is part of the general debate about the need to rethink economics as a human discipline using a heuristic to describe its object, about the need to explicitly reject the positivistic approach in neoclassical economics, and about the urgency to adopt a different methodology, grounded on a realistic set of initial assumptions able to cope with the complexity of the decision making process. The aim of this paper is to show the use of Occam's razor in the economic (...)
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  • Restoration Commerce and the Instruments of Trust: Robert Boyle and the Science of Money.Matthew Day - 2016 - History of the Human Sciences 29 (1):3-26.
    Although the theological elements of Robert Boyle’s mechanical philosophy have received careful scrutiny, his reflections on economic issues have largely been overlooked. This article takes a small step towards redressing this state of affairs. Rather than argue that Boyle – like John Locke or David Hume – was as interested in political economy as he was in discovering the nature of Nature, the article treats him as a point of entry for considering how early-modern England negotiated the revolutionary cultural and (...)
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  • Is Milton Friedman an Artist or a Scientist?David Colander - 1995 - Journal of Economic Methodology 2 (1):105-122.
    Most economists will agree that Milton Friedman is a brilliant economist. Yet, the majority assessment is that his work is ideologically flawed, and that the Marshallian economics he advocates has been superseded by Walrasian economics. In this paper I argue that the reason for this negative assessment is that Friedman, like Alfred Marshall before him, tried to straddle a fence between policy and logical-deductive theory, combining the artistic science of the historical and institutional school with the logical-deductive science of economics (...)
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  • Unrealistic Assumptions in Rational Choice Theory.Aki Lehtinen & Jaakko Kuorikoski - 2007 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 37 (2):115-138.
    The most common argument against the use of rational choice models outside economics is that they make unrealistic assumptions about individual behavior. We argue that whether the falsity of assumptions matters in a given model depends on which factors are explanatorily relevant. Since the explanatory factors may vary from application to application, effective criticism of economic model building should be based on model-specific arguments showing how the result really depends on the false assumptions. However, some modeling results in imperialistic applications (...)
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  • Theory Choice and the Comparison of Rival Theoretical Perspectives in Political Sociology.Geoffrey Brahm Levey - 1996 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 26 (1):26-60.
    A standard problem in empirical inquiry is how to adjudicate between contending theories when they work from different fundamental assumptions. In the field of political sociology, several strategies are adopted, from metatheoretical and comparative historical approaches to the recent formal models of scientific growth proposed by Imre Lakatos and Larry Laudan. After considering the limitations of these approaches, I develop an alternative strategy—"second—order empiricism"—based on the idea that successor theories have an onus to explain the apparent success of their rivals, (...)
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  • Galilean Reflections on Milton Friedman’s "Methodology of Positive Economics," with Thoughts on Vernon Smith’s "Economics in the Laboratory".Eric Schliesser - 2005 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 35 (1):50-74.
    In this article, the author offers a discussion of the evidential role of the Galilean constant in the history of physics. The author argues that measurable constants help theories constrain data. Theories are engines for research, and this helps explain why the Duhem-Quine thesis does not undermine scientific practice. The author connects his argument to discussion of two famous papers in the history of economic methodology, Milton Friedman's 'Methodology of Positive Economics', which appealed to example of Galilean Law of Fall (...)
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  • Explanatory Generalizations, Part I: A Counterfactual Account.James Woodward & Christopher Hitchcock - 2003 - Noûs 37 (1):1–24.
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  • The Usefulness of Truth: An Enquiry Concerning Economic Modelling.Simon Deichsel - 2010 - Erasmus Journal for Philosophy and Economics 3 (1):119-122.
    This thesis attempts to justify a normative role for methodology by sketching a pragmatic way out of the dichotomy between two major strands in economic methodology: empiricism and postmodernism. I discuss several methodological approaches and assess their aptness for theory appraisal in economics. I begin with the most common views on methodology and argue why they are each ill-suited for giving methodological prescriptions to economics. Then, I consider positions that avoid the errors of empiricism and postmodernism. I specifically examine why (...)
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  • Predictive Success and Non-Individualist Models in Social Science.Richard Lauer - 2017 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 47 (2):145-161.
    The predictive inadequacy of the social sciences is well documented, and philosophers have sought to diagnose it. This paper examines Brian Epstein’s recent diagnosis. He argues that the social sciences treat the social world as entirely composed of individual people. Instead, social scientists should recognize that material, non-individualistic entities determine the social world, as well. First, I argue that Epstein’s argument both begs the question against his opponents and is not sufficiently charitable. Second, I present doubts that his proposal will (...)
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  • Economic Modelling as Robustness Analysis.Jaakko Kuorikoski, Aki Lehtinen & Caterina Marchionni - 2010 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 61 (3):541-567.
    We claim that the process of theoretical model refinement in economics is best characterised as robustness analysis: the systematic examination of the robustness of modelling results with respect to particular modelling assumptions. We argue that this practise has epistemic value by extending William Wimsatt's account of robustness analysis as triangulation via independent means of determination. For economists robustness analysis is a crucial methodological strategy because their models are often based on idealisations and abstractions, and it is usually difficult to tell (...)
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  • An Empirical Philosophy of Economic Theory. [REVIEW]Roger E. Backhouse - 1995 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 46 (1):111-121.
  • The Problems of Testing Preference Axioms with Revealed Preference Theory.Till Grüne - 2004 - Analyse & Kritik 26 (2):382-397.
    In economics, it has often been claimed that testing choice data for violation of certain axioms - particularly if the choice data is observed under laboratory conditions - allows conclusions about the validity of certain preference axioms and the neoclassical maximization hypothesis. In this paper I argue that these conclusions are unfounded. In particular, it is unclear what exactly is tested, and the interpretation of the test results are ambiguous. Further, there are plausible reasons why the postulated choice axioms should (...)
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  • La Théorie de la Décision Et la Psychologie du Sens Commun.Philippe Mongin - 2011 - Social Science Information 50 (3-4):351-374.
    Taking the philosophical standpoint, this article compares the mathematical theory of individual decision-making with the folk psychology conception of action, desire and belief. It narrows down its topic by carrying the comparison vis-à-vis Savage's system and its technical concept of subjective probability, which is referred to the basic model of betting as in Ramsey. The argument is organized around three philosophical theses: (i) decision theory is nothing but folk psychology stated in formal language (Lewis), (ii) the former substantially improves on (...)
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  • Is Social Ontology Prior to Social Scientific Methodology?Richard Lauer - 2019 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 49 (3):171-189.
    In this article I examine “Ontology Matters!” (OM!) arguments. OM! arguments conclude that ontology can contribute to empirical success in social science. First, I capture the common form between different OM! arguments. Second, I describe quantifier variance as discussed in metaontology. Third, I apply quantifier variance to the common form of OM! arguments. I then present two ways in which ontology is prior to social science methodology, one realist and one pragmatic. I argue that a pragmatic interpretation of ontology’s priority (...)
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  • Beyond Circularity and Normativity: Measurement and Progress in Behavioral Economics.Michiru Nagatsu - 2010 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 40 (2):265-290.
    This article assesses two major conceptual arguments against theories of choice.The first argument concerns the circularity of belief-desire psychology, on which decision theory is based. The second argument concerns the normativity arising from the concept of rationality. Each argument is evaluated against experimental practice in economics and psychology, and it is concluded that both arguments fail to establish their skeptical conclusion that there can be no science of intentional human actions.
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  • Economics and the Laboratory: Some Philosophical and Methodological Problems Facing Experimental Economics.Francesco Guala - 1999 - Dissertation, London School of Economics and Political Science
    Laboratory experimentation was once considered impossible or irrelevant in economics. Recently, however, economic science has gone through a real ‘laboratory revolution’, and experimental economics is now a most lively subfield of the discipline. The methodological advantages and disadvantages of controlled experimentation constitute the main subject of this thesis. After a survey of the literature on experiments in philosophy and economics, the problem of testing normative theories of rationality is tackled. This philosophical issue was at the centre of a famous controversy (...)
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  • Multiattribute Decision Making in Context: A Dynamic Neural Network Methodology.Samuel J. Leven & Daniel S. Levine - 1996 - Cognitive Science 20 (2):271-299.
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  • Are Social Mechanisms the Antonym of Laws?Amparo Gómez Rodríguez - 2015 - Epistemologia 38 (1):31-46.
    The thesis that in social sciences causal explanations are possible only in terms o mechanisms due to the lack of genuine laws has been increasingly popular among social scientist and philosophers. In this article it is examined whether the explanation by mechanism is necessarily an explanation without laws or, on the contrary, it can involve some kind o laws. To this end it is argued, firstly, that mechanisms are not always the antonym of law insofar as they express propensities and (...)
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  • The Efficiency Question in Economics.Northcott Robert - 2018 - Philosophy of Science 85 (5):1140-1151.
    Much philosophical attention has been devoted to whether economic models explain, and more generally to how scientific models represent. Yet there is an issue more practically important to economics than either of these, which I label the efficiency question: regardless of how exactly models represent, or of whether their role is explanatory or something else, is current modeling practice an efficient way to achieve these goals – or should research efforts be redirected? In addition to showing how the efficiency question (...)
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  • Has Game Theory Been Refuted?Francesco Guala - 2006 - Journal of Philosophy 103 (5):239-263.
    The answer in a nutshell is: Yes, five years ago, but nobody has noticed. Nobody noticed because the majority of social scientists subscribe to one of the following views: (1) the ‘anomalous’ behaviour observed in standard prisoner’s dilemma or ultimatum game experiments has refuted standard game theory a long time ago; (2) game theory is flexible enough to accommodate any observed choices by ‘refining’ players’ preferences; or (3) it is just a piece of pure mathematics (a tautology). None of these (...)
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  • Prediction Versus Accommodation in Economics.Robert Northcott - 2019 - Journal of Economic Methodology 26 (1):59-69.
    Should we insist on prediction, i.e. on correctly forecasting the future? Or can we rest content with accommodation, i.e. empirical success only with respect to the past? I apply general considerations about this issue to the case of economics. In particular, I examine various ways in which mere accommodation can be sufficient, in order to see whether those ways apply to economics. Two conclusions result. First, an entanglement thesis: the need for prediction is entangled with the methodological role of orthodox (...)
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  • Philosophy and Economics.D. Wade Hands - 2008 - In S. N. Durlauf & L. E. Blume (eds.), The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics, 2nd edition. Palgrave. pp. 410-420.
  • Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Economics, Edited by Harold Kincaid and Don Ross. New York: Oxford University Press, 2009, 688 Pp. [REVIEW]Caterina Marchionni - 2010 - Erasmus Journal for Philosophy and Economics 3 (2):95.
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  • Representation Theorems and the Foundations of Decision Theory.Christopher J. G. Meacham & Jonathan Weisberg - 2011 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 89 (4):641 - 663.
    Representation theorems are often taken to provide the foundations for decision theory. First, they are taken to characterize degrees of belief and utilities. Second, they are taken to justify two fundamental rules of rationality: that we should have probabilistic degrees of belief and that we should act as expected utility maximizers. We argue that representation theorems cannot serve either of these foundational purposes, and that recent attempts to defend the foundational importance of representation theorems are unsuccessful. As a result, we (...)
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  • The Rational-Behavioral Debate in Financial Economics.Alon Brav, J. B. Heaton & Alexander Rosenberg - 2004 - Journal of Economic Methodology 11 (4):393-409.
    The contest between rational and behavioral finance is poorly understood as a contest over 'testability' and 'predictive success.' In fact, neither rational nor behavioral finance offer much in the way of testable predictions of improving precision. Researchers in the rational paradigm seem to have abandoned testability and prediction in favor of a scheme of ex post 'rationalizations' of observed price behavior. These rationalizations, however, have an unemphasized relevance for behavioral finance. While behavioral finance advocates may justly criticize rationalizations as unlikely (...)
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  • A Defence of Absurd Theories in Economics.Ole Røgeberg & Morten Nordberg - 2005 - Journal of Economic Methodology 12 (4):543-562.
    Theories that involve plainly false and even bizarre assumptions could have an important role in bundling empirical facts and allowing these to be understood, handled and used as modules in the construction of mechanisms by economists with human cognitive limits. Absurd theories would be subcomponents used in a valid explanatory strategy as long as the mechanisms only derive the implications of the facts summarised. This provides a defence and explanation of parts of current practise, but also imposes hard limits on (...)
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  • Ceteris Paribus Laws.Alexander Reutlinger, Gerhard Schurz, Andreas Hüttemann & Siegfried Jaag - 2019 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    Laws of nature take center stage in philosophy of science. Laws are usually believed to stand in a tight conceptual relation to many important key concepts such as causation, explanation, confirmation, determinism, counterfactuals etc. Traditionally, philosophers of science have focused on physical laws, which were taken to be at least true, universal statements that support counterfactual claims. But, although this claim about laws might be true with respect to physics, laws in the special sciences (such as biology, psychology, economics etc.) (...)
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  • Caveat Emptor: Economics and Contemporary Philosophy of Science.D. Wade Hands - 1997 - Philosophy of Science 64 (4):116.
    The relationship between economics and the philosophy of natural science has changed substantially during the last few years. What was once exclusively a one-way relationship from philosophy to economics now seems to be much closer to bilateral exchange. The purpose of this paper is to examine this new relationship. First, I document the change. Second, I examine the situation within contemporary philosophy of science in order to explain why economics might have its current appeal. Third, I consider some of the (...)
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  • Filosofia y metodologia an la economia.Uskali Mäki - 2008 - In Juan José Jardón Urrieta (ed.), Temas de Teoria Economica y so Metodo. Universidade de Santiago de Compostela.
    Este documento analiza las siguientes cuestiones: 1) La metodología de la economía y su actual institucionalización. 2) La definición de Economía. 3) Las perspectivas de los economistas acerca de la Economía, sus métodos y justificación. 4) Comprobación y progreso: Popper y Lakatos.5) Los modelos y sus supuestos. 6) Persuasión retórica y verdad. 7) La Economía como un recurso para la Filosofía de la Ciencia. 8) Expansionismo explicativo y relaciones interdisciplinares.
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  • Economics as Robustness Analysis.Jaakko Kuorikoski, Aki Lehtinen & Caterina Marchionni - unknown
    All economic models involve abstractions and idealisations. Economic theory itself does not tell which idealizations are truly fatal or harmful for the result and which are not. This is why much of what is seen as theoretical contribution in economics is constituted by deriving familiar results from different modelling assumptions. If a modelling result is robust with respect to particular modelling assumptions, the empirical falsity of these particular assumptions does not provide grounds for criticizing the result. In this paper we (...)
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  • Dos Cuestiones Insuficientemente Debatidas Acerca de Los Supuestos En Economía.Gustavo Marqués - 2004 - Análisis Filosófico 24 (1):59-81.
    El trabajo identifica dos problemas metodológicos que dificultan la contrastación de teorías económicas: 1) en su empleo habitual, no es posible decidir si se satisfacen sus condiciones de aplicación, antes e independientemente de la aplicación de las mismas; 2) si es admisible modificar las condiciones de aplicación de una teoría, debe aceptarse que también pueda ser "manipulada" su clase de predicciones consideradas relevantes. Ambas tesis conforman la base de la argumentación de Milton Friedman contra el realismo de los supuestos, pero (...)
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  • The Epistemological Value of the Consumption Based Capital Asset Pricing Model.Jacob Bjorheim - unknown
    The thesis is a philosophical analysis of the consumption based capital asset pricing model (CCAPM), investigating in particular its epistemological and methodological foundations. Financial markets are integral parts of advanced and developing economies. They matter because they channel unspent household income into banks’ savings accounts and assets such as bonds and stocks. Financial economists have traditionally taken interest in the pricing mechanism that underlies this capital allocation. The consumption based capital asset pricing model (CCAPM) is a prominent effort to describe, (...)
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  • Realistic Realism About Unrealistic Models.Uskali Mäki - 2009 - In Harold Kincaid & Don Ross (eds.), The Oxford handbook of philosophy of economics. Oxford University Press.
    My philosophical intuitions are those of a scientific realist. In addition to being realist in its philosophical outlook, my philosophy of economics also aspires to be realistic in the sense of being descriptively adequate, or at least normatively non-utopian, about economics as a scientific discipline. The special challenge my philosophy of economics must meet is to provide a scientific realist account that is realistic of a discipline that deals with a complex subject matter and operates with highly unrealistic models. Unrealisticness (...)
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  • Reflexive Prediction: A Literature Review.Lauchlan Mackinnon - 2005 - In The Social Construction of Economic Man: The Genesis, Spread, Impact and Institutionalisation of Economic Ideas. The University of Queensland.
    The present work is a review of the early literature on "reflexive prediction" - the notion that public predictions by policymakers may influence and affect the social systems the predictions are made in relation to - in the disciplines of sociology and economics. It is a relatively complete treatment for the time period that it covers. It is intended for attachment to my January 2006 doctoral thesis as "Appendix B.".
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  • Structure in Economic Theory and Structure in Real World Economic Systems.Lauchlan Mackinnon - manuscript
    While mathematical economic theory is replete with structural relationships, it has been suggested that economists have been far to content with the structure created in their conceptual theoretical worlds, and have done too little to conceptualise or study the structure inherent in actual economic systems. I advance the state of the argument by proposing a typology of theory types - correspondence, instrumental, speculative, and literary - with differing attempts and approaches to building some kind of 'correspondence' between the ontological elements (...)
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  • Non-Causal Understanding with Economic Models: The Case of General Equilibrium.Philippe Verreault-Julien - 2017 - Journal of Economic Methodology 24 (3):297-317.
    How can we use models to understand real phenomena if models misrepresent the very phenomena we seek to understand? Some accounts suggest that models may afford understanding by providing causal knowledge about phenomena via how-possibly explanations. However, general equilibrium models, for example, pose a challenge to this solution since their contribution appears to be purely mathematical results. Despite this, practitioners widely acknowledge that it improves our understanding of the world. I argue that the Arrow–Debreu model provides a mathematical how-possibly explanation (...)
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