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Models and Reality

from Asad Zaman

  1. Frank Salter
    September 30, 2018 at 12:55 pm

    Discussing models at a meta-level can lead nowhere except to classify models. The problems in economics is the refusal to confront models with empirical evidence and discard ideas which are clearly wrong. The Duhem-Quine hypothesis is used as some form of amulet to ward off empirical verification. The results of applying the Duhem-Quine hypothesis are refutable by applying Occam’s Razor.

    It should be the application of Popper’s or Lakatos’ actual ideas of confronting theory with empirical evidence which need to be applied not the distorted versions prevalent in most of the works on economic methodology.

    References:

    Hands, Douglas W. (1985). “Karl Popper and Economic Methodology: A New Look”. In: Economics and Philosophy 1.1, pp. 83–99. doi: 10.1017/S0266267100001905.

    Caldwell, Bruce J. (1984). “Some problems with falsificationism in economics”. In: Philosophy of the Social Sciences 14.4, pp. 489–495.

    ––– (1986). “Towards a broader conception of criticism”. In: History of Political Economy 18.4, pp. 675–681.

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