Critical Realism And The Ontological Turn: Rejoinder To Lewis


Abstract
I agree with Paul Lewis that mathematics has a valuable but not all-encompassing role in economics, that event regularities must be supplemented with a persuasive narrative, and that inferences can inform our understanding of economic behavior. However, Lewis's full-throated defense of critical realism does little to allay my original concerns. It is absurd to maintain, as critical realists do, that mainstream economics has nothing valuable to offer heterodox economists, as their critique of the quantity theory of money tries to demonstrate. More crucially, critical realists—unlike Austrian economists—neglect to provide an epistemological explanation of economic actors’ perceptions, which is necessary if we are to bridge critical realism's own division of the social world into the “actual,” “empirical,” and “non-actual real.”
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DOI 10.1080/08913811.2011.574494
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