Uskali Mäki
University of Helsinki
It is argued that rather than a well defined F-Twist, Milton Friedman’s “Methodology of positive economics” offers an F-Mix: a pool of ambiguous and inconsistent ingredients that can be used for putting together a number of different methodological positions. This concerns issues such as the very concept of being unrealistic, the goal of predictive tests, the as-if formulation of theories, explanatory unification, social construction, and more. Both friends and foes of Friedman’s essay have ignored its open-ended unclarities. Their removal may help create new common ground for more focused debate in economics. Here I show how F53 can be reread/rewritten as a socially constructivist fallibilist, and realist statement – in contrast to the received instrumentalist interpretation.
Keywords Unrealistic assumptions  Realism in Economics  F53
Categories (categorize this paper)
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

 PhilArchive page | Upload history
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 Scientific Revolutions.Thomas S. Kuhn - 1962 - University of Chicago Press.
The Structure of Scientific Revolutions.Thomas S. Kuhn - 1962 - University of Chicago Press.
The Structure of Scientific Revolutions.David Bohm - 1964 - Philosophical Quarterly 14 (57):377-379.
Explanatory Unification.Philip Kitcher - 1981 - Philosophy of Science 48 (4):507-531.
Explanation and Scientific Understanding.Michael Friedman - 1974 - Journal of Philosophy 71 (1):5-19.

View all 8 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Modeling Without Representation.Alistair M. C. Isaac - 2013 - Synthese 190 (16):3611-3623.
Against the Pragmatic Justification for Realism in Economic Methodology.Simon Deichsel - 2011 - Erasmus Journal for Philosophy and Economics 4 (1):23-41.
Competition as an Evolutionary Process: Mark Blaug and Evolutionary Economics.Jack J. Vromen - 2013 - Erasmus Journal for Philosophy and Economics 6 (3):104.

View all 6 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles


Added to PP index

Total views
393 ( #16,415 of 2,333,192 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
37 ( #16,459 of 2,333,192 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes