Motterlini, Matteo (2000) Metodo e valutazione in economia : dall'apriorismo a Friedman. UNSPECIFIED. (Unpublished)
This paper aims at reconstructing the standards of evaluation of economic theory looking at the images that economists themselves (historically) have had of their own field of enquiry: from empirical apriorism (N.W. Senior, Mill, Cairnes) to Austrian apriorism (Robbins, Von Mises), from Hutchison’s methodological critique of the Neoclassical assumptions to Machlup’s verificationist approach, and up to Milton Friedman’s influential and sui generis pragmatism. By comparing abstract theories of scientific rationality (Philosophy of Science) with the concrete research practice (Economics) the paper provides a more specific case for the general problem of the demarcation between science and pseudoscience ( it further suggests the relative merits of a dynamical approach compared to the Neopositivist or Popperian static one). It is argued that a comparison of this kind can be fruitful for both the economist and the philosopher in as much as the advocated ‘logic of scientific discovery’ is not presented in an a-historical and a-critical fashion but rather it encourages revisions and improvements.
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