Reorienting Economics?

Philosophy of the Social Sciences 42 (1):126-145 (2012)
Reorienting Economics analyzes many important issues in the social sciences. This article focuses on Lawson’s key methodological and epistemological claims concerning the role of mathematics in social theory. Lawson provides several forceful criticisms of the search for mathematical rigor for the mere sake of formalism. Yet his stronger claims on the extremely limited, if nonexistent, scope for formal analysis in the social sciences are less convincing. In general, his purely methodological approach does not provide robust foundations for reorienting economics
Keywords mathematical models  causal explanations  open systems  social ontology
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DOI 10.1177/0048393110376218
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