Beyond Rhetoric and Realism in Economics: Towards a by Thomas Boylan, Paschal O'Gorman

By Thomas Boylan, Paschal O'Gorman

Boylan and O'Gorman inject a clean empiricist voice into the new debates in financial methodology.... compliment the ebook for its cautious scholarship, its highbrow novelty and its familiarity with latest methodological literature." D. Wade palms, collage of Puget Sound, united states

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Extra resources for Beyond Rhetoric and Realism in Economics: Towards a Reformulation of Methodology (Economics As Social Theory)

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Criticism is a central and integral part of the new agenda, an issue which has been emphasized by Caldwell throughout his own work (Caldwell 1982, 1986, 1988b). Other economic methodologists, such as Boland (1985b), have also emphasized the importance of criticism and he argues that criticism should be viewed as a means of understanding rather than a criterion of demarcation. The latter issue is in fact the basis of Caldwell’s positive heuristic, whose objective he states as follows; ‘The purpose of the new methodology is to help us to understand better what the practice of economics is all about’ (Caldwell 1989:15).

First, the case of the opponent is subjected to critical scrutiny and, second, the positive evidence for his own thesis is organized and presented. In connection with the former he draws our attention to the mathematical development of economics since the 1930s.

The Austrian school, as represented by von Mises, and the Marxist position were accused of infallibilism. In the case of von Mises, his infallibilism resided in the claim that the axioms of economics, though untestable, were deemed to be true a 19 BEYOND RHETORIC AND REALISMA IN ECONOMICS priori. Hence the claim to certain infallibilist knowledge was dogmatic and if the axioms were in turn unfalsifiable, then the Misesian system could not be admitted into the domain of science (Blaug 1980a:91–3).

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