Part of the Handbook of the Philosophy of Science Series edited by:

Dov M. Gabbay King's College, London, UK;
Paul Thagard University of Waterloo, Canada; and
John Woods University of British Columbia, Canada.

Philosophy of Economics investigates the foundational concepts and methods of economics, the social science that analyzes the production, distribution and consumption of goods and services. This groundbreaking collection, the most thorough treatment of the philosophy of economics ever published, brings together philosophers, scientists and historians to map out the central topics in the field. The articles are divided into two groups. Chapters in the first group deal with various philosophical issues characteristic of economics in general, including realism and Lakatos, explanation and testing, modeling and mathematics, political ideology and feminist epistemology. Chapters in the second group discuss particular methods, theories and branches of economics, including forecasting and measurement, econometrics and experimentation, rational choice and agency issues, game theory and social choice, behavioral economics and public choice, geographical economics and evolutionary economics, and finally the economics of scientific knowledge. 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.

Key Features

  • Provides a bridge between philosophy and current scientific findings
  • Encourages multi-disciplinary dialogue
  • Covers theory and applications
  • Readership

    Researchers in all branches of the philosophy of science, as well as graduate students and senior undergraduates as well as scientists and their students who are interested in methodological issues that arise in their fields

    Table of Contents


    General Preface



    Part A General Philosophical Themes

    Realism and Antirealism About Economics

    1 Introduction

    2 Scientific Realism in Conventional Philosophy of Science

    3 Ingredients of a Minimal Scientific Realism

    4 Commonsensibles and their Modifications in Economic Modelling

    5 Social Construction (What?) of What?

    6 Conclusion


    The Rise and fall of Popper and Lakatos in Economics

    1 Introduction

    2 Early Engagements with Popper

    3 Lakatos and the Emergence of Economic Methodology

    4 The Movement from Popper and Lakatos

    5 Appraising Economic Theories

    6 Methodology After Lakatos

    7 Conclusions



    Models and Modelling in Economics

    1 Introduction

    2 Nature of Economic Models

    3 Working with Models

    4 Conclusions: From Models to Modelling



    Economic Theory and Causal Inference

    1 Reductionist and Structuralist Accounts of Causality

    2 Structual Estimation and Causality

    3 The Assault on Macroeconometric Models

    4 Inferring Causes from Interventions

    5 Graph-Theoretic Accounts of Causal Structure

    6 A Synthetic Program for Uncovering The Causal Structure of Vars


    Naturalism and the Nature of Economic Evidence

    1 Naturalism and Evidence

    2 Nonexperimental Evidence

    3 Experimental Evidence

    4 Evidence and Unrealistic Causal Models



    Some Issues Concerning the Nature of Economic Explanation

    1 Some Controversies About Explanation

    2 Formal Criteria for Explanation in Economics

    3 Theoretical Entities and Explanation

    4 When do Models Explain?

    5 Macro and Microexplanatio


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    © 2012
    North Holland
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