1st Edition

Methodology and History of Economics Reflections with and without Rules

    This edited volume provides an in-depth exploration into the influential work of Wade Hands, examining the changing relationship between methodology and the history of economics in connection with contemporary developments in economics.

    The papers in this volume fall into four parts, each devoted to an important theme in Wade Hands’ work. The first part explores the influence and scope of Reflection without Rules, capturing the rich debate that the book generated about what guides methodological and philosophical thinking in economics. The second part examines Hands’ research on Paul Samuelson’s economics and the methodological dimensions of Samuelson’s thinking. Part three looks to Hands’ long-standing interest in the philosophical foundations of pragmatist thinking. The final part addresses his more recent research in the methodological import of the emergence of behavioural economics. Together, the contributors show how Hands’ insights in complexity theory, identity, and stratification are key to understanding a reconfigured economic methodology. They also reveal how his willingness to draw from multiple academic disciplines gives us a platform for interrogating mainstream economics and provides the basis for a humane yet scientific alternative.

    This unique volume will be essential reading for advanced students and researchers across social economics, history of economic thought, economic methodology, political economy, and philosophy of social science.

    Introduction: Wade Hands as an Historian and Philosopher of Economics  Part 1: Reflection with and without Rules  1. Insider, Outsider, Stranger, Resident Field-Worker? Reflections on Wade Hands’ Authorial Stance in Reflection without Rules  2. Reflections without Rules: Reflections about Rules after Twenty Years  3. Social Aspects of Economics Modelling: Disciplinary Norms and Performativity  Part 2: The methodological dimensions and implications of Paul Samuelson’s economics  4. Unification and Pluralism in Economics  5. In Search of Santa Claus: Samuelson, Stigler, and Coase Theorem Worlds  6. Neo-Samuelsonian Methodology, Normative Economics, and the Quantitative Intentional Stance  Part 3: Pragmatism  7. Models, Truth, and Analytic Inference in Economics  8. Institutional Economics and John Dewey’s Instrumentalism  9. E. F. Schumacher’s Metanoia: Rejecting Homo Oeconomicus, 19501977  Part 4: Behavioral Economics  10. Hands on Nudging  11. Does the Inclusion of Social Preferences in Economic Models Challenge the Positive–Normative Distinction?


    Bruce Caldwell is a Research Professor of Economics and the Director of the Center for the History of Political Economy at Duke University. He is the author of Beyond Positivism: Economic Methodology in the 20th Century, first published in 1982. For the past three decades, his research has focused on the multi-faceted writings of the Nobel prize-winning economist and social theorist Friedrich A. Hayek.

    John Davis, Professor Emeritus of Economics, Marquette University and University of Amsterdam, is author of The Theory of the Individual in Economics (2003). He is also the editor of the Routledge Advances in Social Economics series. Davis’ research has focused on the philosophy and methodology of economics, identity and economics, and healthcare economics.

    Uskali Mäki is a Philosophy Professor at the University of Helsinki and a Visiting Professor at Nankai University, China. He is a former editor of the Journal of Economic Methodology (1995–2005). His current research is mainly on the philosophy of economics and other social sciences, on models, scientific realism, interdisciplinarity, and social aspects of science.

    Esther-Mirjam Sent is Professor of Economic Theory and Policy at Radboud University in the Netherlands. Sent is co-editor of the Journal of Institutional Economics. Her research explores behavioral economics, experimental economics, and economic policy, as well as the history and philosophy of economic science.