Imagining the imaginable: a reinterpretation of the function of economists' concern about structural isomorphism in economic theorizing

Journal of Economic Methodology 18 (01):53-78 (2011)
By using a metatheoretical interpretation of the development of international trade theory as an example, I illustrate that, as is manifested in the practices of economic theorization, a theoretical representation can be decomposed into two component representations: a formal representation and a causal narrative representation. I further maintain that, with respect to both component representations, the concern of isomorphism is important in that it is the guiding idea that underlies economists' practice of identifying both an adequate formal model and a plausible causal story to represent the targeted phenomenon. As a result, it can be argued that the nature of the representational relation is manifested in the practices of economists as they imagine the imaginable causal stories on the basis of imaginative causal structures depicted in the causal models of the targeted phenomenon.
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DOI 10.1080/1350178X.2010.540671
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References found in this work BETA
Saul Kripke (2010). Naming and Necessity. In Darragh Byrne & Max Kölbel (eds.), Philosophy. Routledge. pp. 431-433.
Mauricio Suarez (2003). Scientific Representation: Against Similarity and Isomorphism. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 17 (3):225-244.

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