Functional explanation in economics: a qualified defence

Journal of Economic Methodology 9 (2):169-189 (2002)

Abstract
Economists seldom make explicit use of functional explanation, although they sometimes use it implicitly. Functional theorizing has lost favour among social scientists in recent years, and few are now willing to adopt functional language. This paper argues that, despite some drawbacks, explicit functional methods have several attractive features, including a pluralistic attitude to causality, an awareness of stratification and emergence, and a compatibility with a realist perspective. Functional methods on their own cannot provide full causal explanations, but they can raise important theoretical issues often neglected in mainstream economics.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1080/13501780110078981
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 46,483
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

The Structure of Science.Ernest Nagel - 1961 - Les Etudes Philosophiques 17 (2):275-275.
The Coming Crisis of Western Sociology.Alvin W. Gouldner - 1972 - Science and Society 36 (1):93-95.

View all 21 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Viability Explanation.Arno Wouters - 1995 - Biology and Philosophy 10 (4):435-457.
Functional Explanation and Metaphysical Individualism.Justin Schwartz - 1993 - Philosophy of Science 60 (2):278-301.
Can Intentional and Functional Explanations of Actions Coexist?Rob Vanderbeeken - 2006 - The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy 9:143-147.
Functional Explanation, Consequence Explanation, and Marxism.G. A. Cohen - 1982 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 25 (1):27 – 56.
Cartesian Functional Analysis.Deborah J. Brown - 2012 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 90 (1):75 - 92.
Historical Materialism and Functional Explanation.Allen W. Wood - 1986 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 29 (1-4):11 – 27.
Explanation and diagnosis in economics.Daniel Hausman - 2001 - Revue Internationale de Philosophie 3:311-326.
The Functions of Fossils: Inference and Explanation in Functional Morphology.D. Turner - 2000 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 31 (1):193-212.
G. A. Cohen's Functional Explanation: A Critical Realist Analysis.Joly Agar - 2003 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 33 (3):291-310.
The Functional Perspective of Organismal Biology.Arno Wouters - 2005 - In Thomas Reydon & Lia Hemerik (eds.), Current Themes in Theoretical Biology. Springer. pp. 33--69.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2012-02-20

Total views
18 ( #511,799 of 2,286,543 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #862,224 of 2,286,543 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes

Sign in to use this feature