Idealization and the aims of economics: Three cheers for instrumentalism: Julian Reiss

Economics and Philosophy 28 (3):363-383 (2012)

Authors
Julian Reiss
Durham University
Abstract
This paper aims to provide characterizations of realism and instrumentalism that are philosophically interesting and applicable to economics; and to defend instrumentalism against realism as a methodological stance in economics. Starting point is the observation that ‘all models are false’, which, or so I argue, is difficult to square with the realist's aim of truth, even if the latter is understood as ‘partial’ or ‘approximate’. The three cheers in favour of instrumentalism are: Once we have usefulness, truth is redundant. There is something disturbing about causal structure. It's better to do what one can than to chase rainbows. View HTML Send article to KindleTo send this article to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply. Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.IDEALIZATION AND THE AIMS OF ECONOMICS: THREE CHEERS FOR INSTRUMENTALISMVolume 28, Issue 3Julian Reiss DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/S0266267112000284Your Kindle email address Please provide your Kindle email.@free.kindle.com@kindle.com Available formats PDF Please select a format to send. By using this service, you agree that you will only keep articles for personal use, and will not openly distribute them via Dropbox, Google Drive or other file sharing services. Please confirm that you accept the terms of use. Cancel Send ×Send article to Dropbox To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox. IDEALIZATION AND THE AIMS OF ECONOMICS: THREE CHEERS FOR INSTRUMENTALISMVolume 28, Issue 3Julian Reiss DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/S0266267112000284Available formats PDF Please select a format to send. By using this service, you agree that you will only keep articles for personal use, and will not openly distribute them via Dropbox, Google Drive or other file sharing services. Please confirm that you accept the terms of use. Cancel Send ×Send article to Google Drive To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive. IDEALIZATION AND THE AIMS OF ECONOMICS: THREE CHEERS FOR INSTRUMENTALISMVolume 28, Issue 3Julian Reiss DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/S0266267112000284Available formats PDF Please select a format to send. By using this service, you agree that you will only keep articles for personal use, and will not openly distribute them via Dropbox, Google Drive or other file sharing services. Please confirm that you accept the terms of use. Cancel Send ×Export citation Request permission.
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DOI 10.1017/S0266267112000284
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What’s so Special About Empirical Adequacy?Sindhuja Bhakthavatsalam & Nancy Cartwright - 2017 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 7 (3):445-465.
The Explanation Paradox Redux.Julian Reiss - 2013 - Journal of Economic Methodology 20 (3):280 - 292.
Positive Public Economics: Reinterpreting ‘Optimal’ Policies.Brian C. Albrecht - 2017 - Journal of Economic Methodology 24 (1):90-103.

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