Philosophy of Economics

1st Edition

Series Volume Editors: Uskali Mäki
Series Editors: Dov M. Gabbay Paul Thagard John Woods
Hardcover ISBN: 9780444516763
eBook ISBN: 9780080930770
Imprint: North Holland
Published Date: 23rd April 2012
Page Count: 928
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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


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


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


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© North Holland 2012
North Holland
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About the Series Volume Editors

Uskali Mäki Series Volume Editor

About the Series Editors

Dov M. Gabbay Series Editor

Dov M. Gabbay is Augustus De Morgan Professor Emeritus of Logic at the Group of Logic, Language and Computation, Department of Computer Science, King's College London. He has authored over four hundred and fifty research papers and over thirty research monographs. He is editor of several international Journals, and many reference works and Handbooks of Logic.

Affiliations and Expertise

King's College London, UK

Paul Thagard Series Editor

Affiliations and Expertise

University of Waterloo, Canada

John Woods Series Editor

Affiliations and Expertise

University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada