The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Economics is a cutting-edge reference work to philosophical issues in the practice of economics. It is motivated by the view that there is more to economics than general equilibrium theory, and that the philosophy of economics should reflect the diversity of activities and topics that currently occupy economists. Contributions in the Handbook are thus closely tied to ongoing theoretical and empirical concerns in economics. Contributors include both philosophers (...) of science and economists. Chapters fall into three general categories: received views in philosophy of economics, ongoing controversies in microeconomics, and issues in modeling, macroeconomics, and development. Specific topics include methodology, game theory, experimental economics, behavioral economics, neuroeconomics, computational economics, data mining, interpersonal comparisons of utility, measurement of welfare and well being, growth theory and development, and microfoundations of macroeconomics. The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Economics is a groundbreaking reference like no other in its field. It is a central resource for those wishing to learn about the philosophy of economics, and for those who actively engage in the discipline, from advanced undergraduates to professional philosophers, economists, and historians. (shrink)
Hunting Causes and Using Them argues that causation is not one thing, as commonly assumed, but many. There is a huge variety of causal relations, each with different characterizing features, different methods for discovery and different uses to which it can be put. In this collection of new and previously published essays, Nancy Cartwright provides a critical survey of philosophical and economic literature on causality, with a special focus on the currently fashionable Bayes-nets and invariance methods - and it exposes (...) a huge gap in that literature. Almost every account treats either exclusively how to hunt causes or how to use them. But where is the bridge between? It's no good knowing how to warrant a causal claim if we don't know what we can do with that claim once we have it. This book will interest philosophers, economists and social scientists. (shrink)
Feminist economists have demonstrated that interrogating hierarchies based on gender, ethnicity, class and nation results in an economics that is biased and more faithful to empirical evidence than are mainstream accounts. This rigorous and comprehensive book examines many of the central philosophical questions and themes in feminist economics including: · History of economics · Feminist science studies · Identity and agency · Caring labor · Postcolonialism and postmodernism With contributions from such leading figures as Nancy Folbre, Julie (...) Nelson and Sandra Harding, Toward a Feminist Theory of Economics looks set to become the book on feminist economics for some time to come and will be greatly appreciated by all those interested in gender studies, economic methodology and social theory. (shrink)
An anthology of works on the philosophy of economics, including classic texts and essays exploring specific branches and schools of economics. Completely revamped, this edition contains new selections, a revised introduction and a bibliography. The volume contains 26 chapters organized into five parts: Classic Discussions, Positivist and Popperian Views, Ideology and Normative Economics, Branches and Schools of Economics and Their Methodological Problems and New Directions in Economic Methodology. It includes crucial historical contributions by figures such (...) as Mill, Marx, Weber, Robbins, Knight, and Veblen and works by most of the leading contemporary figures writing on economic methodology, including five Nobel Laureates in Economics. (shrink)
This volume serves as a detailed introduction for those new to the field as well as a rich source of new insights and potential research agendas for those already engaged with the philosophy of economics.
Economists and other social scientists in this century have often supported economic arguments by referring to positions taken by philosophers of science. This important new book looks at the reliability of this practice and, in the process, provides economists, social scientists, and historians with the necessary background to discuss methodological matters with authority. Redman first presents an accurate, critical, yet neutral survey of the modern philosophy of science from the Vienna Circle to the present, focusing particularly on logical positivism, (...) sociological explanations of science (Polanyi, Fleck, Kuhn), the Popper family, and the history of science. She then deals with economic methodology in the twentieth century, looking at a wide range of methodological positions, especially those supported by positions from the philosophy of science. She considers the myth of the feasibility of falsification in economics and, within the context of its significance for economics, discusses the interpretation of Kuhn's philosophy of science as consensus and the danger such a view represents to science. Appendices review the history of the is-ought dispute and list economists whose first works deal with methodological topics. Comprehensive, readable, and accessible to those with little background knowledge, Redman's book will appeal to a wide range of social scientists and philosophers of science. (shrink)
The Philosophy of Economics is the first work to seriously and successfully bridge twentieth-century economics and twentieth-century philosophy. Subroto Roy draws these two disciplines together and examines the basic intellectual roots of economics. This is also the first work by an economist to employ the writings of Wittgenstein and to tackle seriously the import of modern philosophy for economic thought. Unlike others in the field, Roy discusses not only the contributions of Popper, Kuhn, and (...) Lakatos but also those of Frege, Moore, and Wittgenstein, as well as Plato and Aristotle. (shrink)
Abstract: The paper argues that mainstream economics and mainstream philosophy of natural science had much in common during the period 1945-1965. It examines seven common features of the two fields and suggests a number of historical developments that might help explain these similarities. The historical developments include: the Vienna Circle connection, the Samuelson-Harvard-Foundations connection, and the Cold War operations research connection.
This is a comprehensive anthology of works concerning the nature of economics as a science, including classic texts and essays exploring specific branches and schools of economics. Apart from the classics, most of the selections in the third edition are new, as are the introduction and bibliography. No other anthology spans the whole field and offers a comprehensive introduction to questions about economic methodology.
This article is a prelude to an experimental study of the preference concept in economics. I argue that a new empirical approach called experimental philosophy of science is a promising approach to advance the philosophy of economics. In particular, I discuss two debates in the field, the neuroeconomics controversy and the commonsensible realism debate, and suggest how experimental and survey techniques can generate data that will inform these debates. Some of the likely objections from philosophers and (...) economists are addressed, and possible ways of operationalizing different preference concepts are illustrated. (shrink)
Following Amartya Sen’s insistence to expand the framework of rational choice theory by taking into account ‘non-utility information,’ economists, political scientists and philosophers have recently concentrated their efforts in analysing the issues related to rights, freedom, diversity intentions and equality. Thomas Boylan and Ruvin Gekker have gathered essays that reflect this trend. The particular themes addressed in this volume include: the measurement of diversity and freedom, formal analysis of individual rights and intentions, judgment aggregation under constraints and strategic manipulation in (...) fuzzy environments. Some papers in the volume also deal with philosophical aspects of normative social choice. (shrink)
The Inexact and Separate Science of Economics represents the most ambitious attempt to provide a systematic account of economic methodology since the first edition of Blaug's The Methodology of Economics. As such, it has been the subject of extensive critical commentary. For all the attention it has received, however, some important aspects of the book's thesis have not been developed properly. Two important ones are what might be called, following the terminology used in the experimental economics literature, (...) the ‘framing effect’ of Hausman's definition of economics, and the significance of Hausman's claim that economists are committed to developing economics as a ‘separate’ science. To understand these points it is important to make explicit the position from which Hausman approaches the philosophy of science. (shrink)
Not so long ago, many economists and philosophers felt that their disciplines had no use for experimental methods. An experimental study was, by its nature, ‘not economics’ or ‘not philosophy’ – psychology maybe. Opinion has changed dramatically. This issue of Economics and Philosophy represents a collection of recent contributions to experimental research that explicitly deal with empirical findings or methodological questions in the intersection of the two disciplines. To the best of our knowledge, it is the (...) first such collection dedicated to addressing these common interests. (shrink)
The relationship between economics and the philosophy of natural science has changed substantially during the last few years. What was once exclusively a one-way relationship from philosophy to economics now seems to be much closer to bilateral exchange. The purpose of this paper is to examine this new relationship. First, I document the change. Second, I examine the situation within contemporary philosophy of science in order to explain why economics might have its current appeal. (...) Third, I consider some of the issues that might jeopardize the success of this philosophical project. (shrink)
This paper deals with an economist and philosopher, who is not very well known in the literature, namely Rudolf Stolzmann. Stolzmann considered himself a representative of Neo-Kantianism and in economics he is often ascribed to the social law movement of economics. The research question in this paper deals with the late works of Stolzmann, namely, “Nature and Goals of the Philosophy of Economics.” In this work, Stolzmann made use of another methodology compared to his earlier texts (...) in which society or a sense of community is deducted from a philosophical perspective. This paper aims to show the contradictions of this deductive method. This new approach is no longer compatible with Neo-Kantian philosophy and can be associated more closely with Hegelian or Neoplatonic philosophy; which Stolzmann appears to be unaware of. Conversely, his social organic theory gains greater plausibility and credence than before. Another result of the paper can be seen in the fact that Stolzmann did not use the deductive method consistently. Beginning from the fourth chapter, it gets confusing and Stolzmann mixed the deductive method with the inductive method. (shrink)
Behaviourism is the view that preferences, beliefs, and other mental states in social-scientific theories are nothing but constructs re-describing people's behaviour. Mentalism is the view that they capture real phenomena, on a par with the unobservables in science, such as electrons and electromagnetic fields. While behaviourism has gone out of fashion in psychology, it remains influential in economics, especially in ‘revealed preference’ theory. We defend mentalism in economics, construed as a positive science, and show that it fits best (...) scientific practice. We distinguish mentalism from, and reject, the radical neuroeconomic view that behaviour should be explained in terms of brain processes, as distinct from mental states. (shrink)
This paper draws a connection between recentdevelopments in naturalized philosophyof science and the Buchanan research programin economics. Economic approaches innaturalized philosophy of science canbe combined to form an economic philosophy ofscience. After giving an overview of someof these approaches, I lay out the fundamentalsof the Buchanan research program. I arguethat its main elements are a theory of interactionsand a normative foundation in consensus whichhelp to answer some important criticismsof economic philosophy of science.
This collection of Hayek's essays, addresses, reviews, and some minor writings shows the author's progress in the justification of his well-known liberal stance. The tone remains, as in previous works of Hayek, halfway between theory and manifesto. The most theoretical section of the book deals with the philosophy of scientific explanation. Here Hayek introduces the notion of "complex phenomena" whose structure, not being subject to determination by abstracting and simplifying rich natural patterns, must be approached with methods of great (...) flexibility, capable of combining a considerable number of variables. The natural sciences are relying increasingly upon such methods, but it is in the social sciences that their use is indispensable. Progress in econometrics and mathematical linguistics evidence their success. Perhaps the social sciences can gain further methodological autonomy from these developments. In Hayek's mind the obvious conclusion of such interesting premisses is to agree with Popper's attacks on social planning. This conclusion is spelled out in the essays on politics and economics. For all of Hayek's insistence, the prevailing impression is that the controversy on social planning has now come full circle. The arguments of the liberal side may now be interpreted as a demonstration of the need for the highest sophistication in planning.--A. M. (shrink)
In an attempt to re-envision economics, the paper analyses Robert Heilbroner’s philosophy of economics through the lens of Max Weber’s philosophy of science. Specifically, Heilbroner’s position on vision, ideology and value-freedom is examined by contextualising it within a framework of … More ›.
People have thought about economics for as long as they have thought about how to manage their households, and indeed Aristotle assimilated the study of the economic affairs of a city to the study of the management of a household. During the two millennia between Aristotle and Adam Smith, one finds reflections concerning economic problems mainly in the context of discussions of moral or policy questions. For example, scholastic philosophers commented on money and interest in inquiries concerning the justice (...) of "usury" (charging interest on money loans), and in the 17th century, there was a great deal of discussion of policy concerning foreign trade. Economics only emerged as a distinct field of study with the bold 18th-century idea that there were "economies"--that is autonomous law-governed systems of human interaction involving production, distribution and exchange. This view is already well developed in Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations, from which much of economics derives. (shrink)
From a retail environment, we reflect on the unity of knowledge as valuable in a business context, and from an Ignatian perspective, consider a reflexion of knowledge transfer practitioners to elementary cognition. We deliberate why, despite decades of analytical scrutiny, agreement around the transfer of knowledge into a value item within a business milieu, remains troublesome and problematic. We ask if perspectives derived from an Ignatian domain can allow for alternative elements of analysis and reasoning, becoming more complementary within a (...) business environment. Utilising a mixed method approach incorporating (n=6) participants, the study considered responses overarched by Ignatian rules of sentiment as an interpretive lens (n=18), and utilised a hermeneutic of discernment as a frame of reference. Drawn from a POPC frame of reference, Ignatian annotations (n=20) allow a linear dependence of correlation coefficients to support a correlation matrix. Although not strictly a research method, correlation analysis in this instance permits antipodal interpretation of content between the rules supporting spiritual exercises, and decisions taken by employees and managers. Thus, enabling the study to identify latent causality patterns within organisational decision-making processes. (shrink)
The beginning of the journey -- What this book is about : using ideas from mathematics, economics, and physics to tackle the big questions in philosophy : what is real? what can we know? what is the difference between right and wrong? and how should we live? -- Reality and unreality -- On what there is -- Why is there something instead of nothing? the best answer I have : mathematics exists because it must and everything else exists (...) because it is made of mathematics, with an excursion into artificial intelligence -- Unfinished business -- Unfinished business from chapter two : the nature and purpose of economic models -- How Richard Dawkins got it wrong -- Why Dawkins's argument against intelligent design can't be right and a mathematical analysis of the arguments for the existence of God -- Belief -- Daydream believers -- Most beliefs are ill-considered because most false beliefs are costless to hold -- The next several chapters will explore the consequences of this observation before we return to the question of where our beliefs and knowledge come from -- Unfinished business -- Unfinished business from the preceding chapter : how color vision works, sound, and water waves, the sheer craziness of economic protectionism -- Do believers believe? -- Our ill-considered beliefs about religion : why I believe that almost nobody is deeply religious -- On what there obviously is -- Our ill-considered beliefs about free will, ESP, and life after death -- Diogenes's nightmare -- How is legitimate disagreement possible if you're arguing with someone who is as intelligent and informed as you are, shouldn't you put just as much weight on your opponent's arguments as your own? -- The fact that we persist in disagreeing is strong evidence that we don't really care what's true -- Knowledge -- Knowing your math -- Where mathematical knowledge comes from and logic and why evidence and logic are not enough -- Unfinished business -- Unfinished business from the preceding chapter : the tale of hercules and the hydra, with an excursion into the lore of very large numbers -- Incomplete thinking -- Godel's incompleteness theorem and what it doesn't say about the limits of human knowledge -- The rules of logic and the tale of a Potbellied pig -- The power of logical thought, with excursions into the most counterintuitive theorem in all of mathematics and the tale of a potbellied pig -- The rules of evidence -- What we can and can't learn from evidence, with excursions into the value of preschool and how internet porn prevents rape -- The limits to knowledge -- What physics does and doesn't tell us about what we can and cannot know -- Understanding Heisenberg's uncertainty principle -- Unfinished business -- The oddness of the quantum world and why it matters to game theorists -- Right and wrong -- Telling right from wrong -- Some hard questions about right and wrong and about life and death -- The economist's golden rule -- A rule of thumb for good behavior -- How to be socially responsible -- Putting the rule of thumb into practice -- On not being a jerk -- Goofus and gallant on immigration policy -- The economist on the playground -- Our ill-considered beliefs about fairness in the market place and in the voting booth, contrasted with our carefully considered beliefs about fairness on the playground -- Unfinished business -- How ancient talmudic scholars anticipated modern economic theory -- The life of the mind -- How to think -- Some basic rules for clear thinking, mostly about economics, but also about arithmetic, neurobiology, sin, and eschewing blather -- What to study -- Advice to college students : stay away from the English department and approach the philosophy department with caution, with an excursion into the remarkable life of Frank Ramsey. (shrink)
The concept of preference dominates economic theory today. It performs a triple duty for economists, grounding their theories of individual behavior, welfare, and rationality. Microeconomic theory assumes that individuals act so as to maximize their utility – that is, to maximize the degree to which their preferences are satisfied. Welfare economics defines individual welfare in terms of preference satisfaction or utility, and social welfare as a function of individual preferences. Finally, economists assume that the rational act is the act (...) that maximally satisfies an individual's preferences. The habit of framing problems in terms of the concept of preference is now so entrenched that economists rarely entertain alternatives. (shrink)
Relatively little contemporary philosophy of education employs economic concepts directly. Even where issues such as marketisation of education are discussed there may be little clarification of underlying concepts. The paper argues that while much contemporary economic thinking on education may be philosophically naive, it is also the case that philosophy of education can productively engage with particular economic insights and perspectives. The paper examines particular conceptualisations of 'economics' and 'the market', drawing upon these to consider aspects of (...) an issue that is significant for the philosophy of education: human becoming. An example, the notion of 'wellbeing' is briefly discussed. (shrink)
This paper sketches the contemporary turn in philosophy of science and discusses its practical implications for doing philosophy of economics. This turn consists basically of regarding philosophy of science as itself an empirical (social) science. It thus embodies a naturalized epistemology. Some of the circularities inherent in such an epistemology are examined, and it is argued that they are not vicious. Although an empirical approach to the philosophy of science is defended, it is pointed out (...) that there are practical difficulties employing it when studying a discipline like economics in which dispute and controversy are so pervasive. It is argued that the implications of the empirical approach to philosophy of science for day-to-day philosophical practice are undramatic. (shrink)
The field of behavioural economics has produced a number of valuable insights into the psychology of irrational behaviour, consumerism and morality. One particularly interesting line of research is that of dishonesty, especially the episodic dishonesty of generally honest people. Currently, an experimental paradigm examining these kinds of research questions is being undertaken, and, using Dan Ariely's Predictably Irrational as a starting point, can broaden the scope of behavioural economics to consider philosophically salient issues as well. In this article, (...) a survey of the ability of behavioural economics to investigate traditionally philosophical questions, as well as moral issues, will be undertaken. A particular focus will be the discussion of further research directions made available by the paradigm of “experimental philosophy” and how behavioural economics can inform this project, followed by a discussion of the current experimental paradigm, and why this research will have larger consequences in a number of social dimensions. (shrink)
Philosophy of Economics: A Contemporary Introduction is the first systematic textbook in the philosophy of economics. It introduces the epistemological, metaphysical and ethical problems that arise in economics, and presents detailed discussions of the solutions that have been offered. Throughout, philosophical issues are illustrated by and analysed in the context of concrete cases drawn from contemporary economics, the history of economic ideas, and actual economic events. This demonstrates the relevance of philosophy of (...) class='Hi'>economics both for the science of economics and for the economy. This text will provide an excellent introduction to the philosophy of economics for students and interested general readers alike. (shrink)
Dramatic changes or revolutions in a field of science are often made by outsiders or 'trespassers,' who are not limited by the established, 'expert' approaches. Each essay in this diverse collection shows the fruits of intellectual trespassing and poaching among fields such as economics, Kantian ethics, Platonic philosophy, category theory, double-entry accounting, arbitrage, algebraic logic, series-parallel duality, and financial arithmetic.
A rational process for assessment of environmental policy options should be based on an appreciation of how humans value nature. Increased understanding of values will also contribute to the development of appropriate ways for us to relate to and manage natural areas. Over the past two decades, environmental philosophers have examined the notion that there is an intrinsic value in nature. Economists have attempted to define and measure the market and nonmarket economic values associated with decisions concerning natural areas. Psychologists (...) have tried to assess the extent to which people believe in an intrinsic value in nature, and have also begun to work with economists to improve nonmarket valuation techniques. I briefly review the contributions made to our understanding of natural area value by environmental philosophy, psychology and economics, and develop a model that integrates insights from these disciplines. Components in the model include cognitions, held values, assigned values and various modes of value expression. I make recommendations for future validation, development and use of the model. (shrink)
This paper draws a connection between recent developments in naturalized philosophy of science and the Buchanan research program in economics. Economic approaches in naturalized philosophy of science can be combined to form an economic philosophy of science. After giving an overview of some of these approaches, I lay out the fundamentals of the Buchanan research program. I argue that its main elements are a theory of interactions and a normative foundation in consensus which help to answer (...) some important criticisms of economic philosophy of science. (shrink)