Journal of Economic Methodology 22 (2):157-170 (2015)

Abstract
The goal of this article is to provide a slightly different spin on economists' use of the positive-normative distinction by providing some context for its use. The major difference is the following: philosophers and philosophically oriented economists, such as Hilary Putnam and John Davis, see the positive-normative distinction in economics as following from the logical positivist position, and they interpret comments made by economists as reflecting scientific methodological positions that have long since been repudiated by philosophers of science. This article argues that economists' use of the positive-normative distinction developed from the Mill–Keynes methodological tradition, which did not hold logical positivist views. Instead, it had pragmatic purposes and was designed to encourage economists to be more modest in their claims for the implications of economic theory. We conclude by arguing that economist's current use of the positive-normative distinction is problematic, as Davis suggests, but th..
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DOI 10.1080/1350178X.2015.1024877
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References found in this work BETA

Principles of Economics.John S. Mackenzie - 1891 - Mind 16 (61):110-113.
What Do Economists Analyze and Why: Values or Facts?Partha Dasgupta - 2005 - Economics and Philosophy 21 (2):221-278.

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Citations of this work BETA

Positive Public Economics: Reinterpreting ‘Optimal’ Policies.Brian C. Albrecht - 2017 - Journal of Economic Methodology 24 (1):90-103.
Liberal Naturalism and Non-Epistemic Values.Ricardo F. Crespo - 2019 - Foundations of Science 24 (2):247-273.
Values in Economics: A Recent Revival with a Twist.Magdalena Małecka - forthcoming - Journal of Economic Methodology:1-10.

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