The critical realist conception of open and closed systems

Journal of Economic Methodology 24 (1):41-68 (2017)
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Abstract

The critical realist conception of open and closed systems is not about systems: it is about regularities in the flux of events and states of affairs. It has recently been criticised on the grounds that critical realists should take on board ideas about the general nature of systems; recognise that genuinely open social systems would be impossible; avoid polarities or dualisms where either there are event regularities and open systems, or there are no event regularities and closed systems and accept partial regularities and partially open systems; and understand that orthodox economics is not based upon event regularities, laws or Humean empiricism. The objective of this paper is to ‘take stock’ of these recent criticisms.

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Author's Profile

Steve Fleetwood
University of the West of England

References found in this work

A Realist Theory of Science.Caroline Whitbeck - 1977 - Philosophical Review 86 (1):114.
Explanation, understanding, and unrealistic models.Frank Hindriks - 2013 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 44 (3):523-531.
Powers and Tendencies Revisited.Steve Fleetwood - 2011 - Journal of Critical Realism 10 (1):80-99.
The Contribution of Systemic Thought to Critical Realism.John Mingers - 2011 - Journal of Critical Realism 10 (3):303-330.

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