Reflexivity, uncertainty and the unity of science

Journal of Economic Methodology 20 (4):429-438 (2013)
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Abstract

The paper argues that substantial support for Soros' claims about uncertainty and reflexivity in economics and human affairs generally are provided by the operation of both factors in the biological domain to produce substantially the same processes which have been recognized by ecologists and evolutionary biologists. In particular predator prey relations have their sources in uncertainty – i.e. the random character of variations, and frequency dependent co-evolution – reflexivity. The paper argues that despite Soros' claims, intentionality is not required to produce these phenomena, and that where it does so, in the human case, it provides no basis to deny a reasonable thesis of the methodological or causal unity of science. The argument for this conclusion is developed by starting with a biological predator/prey relation and successively introducing intentional components without affecting the nature of the process. Accepting the conclusion of this argument provides substantial additional inductive support for Soros' theory in its economic application

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Alex Rosenberg
Duke University

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Risk, Uncertainty and Profit.Frank Knight - 1921 - University of Chicago Press.

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