In recent years there has been a flowering of work on economic methodology. However there is no longer any consensus about which direction this should take or, indeed, even what the role and content of economic methodology should be. This book reflects this diversity. Its contributors are responsible for the major developments in this field and together they give an account of all the major positions which currently prevail in economic methodology. These include attempts to rehabilitate the 'falsification' of Kuhn, Lakatos and Popper, sociology of knowledge approaches, different forms of realism, contributions from the 'rhetoric' project and other perspectives which view the economy as a text.
Contributors: Roger E. Backhouse, University of Birmingham; Terence Hutchison, University of Birmingham; David Colander, Middlebury College; Philip Mirowski, University of Notre Dame; D. Wade Hands, University of Puget Sound; Mark Blaug, University of London; Bruce Caldwell, University of North Carolina at Greensboro; Lawrence A. Boland, Simon Frazer University; Daniel M. Hausman, University of Wisconsin-Madison; Alex Rosenberg, University of California at Riverside; Uskali Maki, Academy of Finland; Tony Lawson, University of Cambridge; Kevin Hoover, University of California at Davis; Donald N. McCloskey, University of Iowa; Willie Henderson, University of Birmingham; Vivienne Brown, The Open University
Social Theory is experiencing something of a revival within economics. Critical analyses of the particular nature of the subject matter of social studies and of the types of method, categories and modes of explanation that can legitimately be endorsed for the scientific study of social objects, are re-emerging. Economists are again addressing such issues as the relationship between agency and structure, between economy and the rest of society, and between the enquirer and the object of enquiry. There is a renewed interest in elaborating basic categories such as causation, competition, culture, discrimination, evolution, money, need, order, organization, power probability, process, rationality, technology, time, truth, uncertainty, value etc.
The objective for this series is to facilitate this revival further. In contemporary economics the label “theory” has been appropriated by a group that confines itself to largely asocial, ahistorical, mathematical “modelling”. Economics as Social Theory thus reclaims the “Theory” label, offering a platform for alternative rigorous, but broader and more critical conceptions of theorizing.