Robert Northcott
Birkbeck College, London
Jack Wright
Cambridge University
Anna Alexandrova
Cambridge University
We distinguish between two different strategies in economic methodology. The big picture strategy, dominant in the twentieth century, ascribed to economics a unified method and evaluated this method against a single criterion of ‘science’. In the last thirty years a second strategy gained prominence: fine-grained studies of how some specific technique common in economics can achieve one or more epistemic goal. We argue that recent developments in philosophy of science and in economics warrant a return to big-picture – but now reinvented. It should focus on a new question, already intensely debated within the profession: is the organization of economics healthy and appropriate?
Keywords economic methodology  social epistemology   rational choice models  social organisation of science  philosophy of economics
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