Journal of Economic Methodology 20 (4):420-428 (2013)

Let me begin by saying that I think that George Soros is right in identifying fallibility and reflexivity as important phenomena in economic life, and in social life more generally, and as phenomena that mainstream economic theory has largely ignored. I also agree with Soros that economics is an uncertain science. And I think that Soros himself, being one of the world's wealthiest men and most generous philanthropists, deserves credit for being ready and willing to think for himself. It would be all too easy for him to trot out conventional wisdom about market efficiency, privatization, and the like – safely under-written by economic science. It is much more difficult to question the conventional wisdom, let alone its theoretical foundations. Soros does both. Better yet, he takes the trouble to write down his ideas for public consideration and to respond to requests from academic journals to debate their significance – while he could just as easily be lounging on a yacht eating caviar for the rest of his days. Thus said, I do not agree with everything Soros says in his ‘Fallibility, reflexivity, and the human uncertainty principle’ and in what follows I will focus upon what I regard as misconceptions in what he says about fallibility, reflexivity, and scientific method. I will attribute these disagreements to misunderstandings of some of the ideas of our mutual mentor – Sir Karl Popper. In doing so, I hope to show that some of Soros' ideas may be closer to Popper's than Soros thinks, that reflexivity may not be as exclusive to social science as Soros thinks, and that it may not require a scientific method of its own. Getting clear about this may leave us with a somewhat different view of science
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DOI 10.1080/1350178X.2013.859412
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The Poverty of Historicism.Karl Popper - 1957 - London: Routledge and Kegan Paul.
Fallibility, Reflexivity and the Human Uncertainty Principle.George Soros - 2013 - Journal of Economic Methodology 20 (4):309-329.

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