© 2003 – Routledge
This eagerly anticipated new book from Tony Lawson contends that economics can profit from a more explicit concern with ontology (enquiry into the nature of existence) than has been its custom. By admitting that economics is not exactly a picture of health at the moment, Lawson hopes that we can move away from the bafflingly intransigent belief that economics is at its core reliant upon mathematical modelling. This maths-envy is the reason why economics is in a state of such disarray. Far from being a polemic against the mainstream, this excellent new book is concerned that if economics is to be saved from itself then there must be a realistic dialogue between the classical heterodox fields. Of interest to philosophers, sociologists and social scientists as well as economists, this comprehensive, logical book is a vital contribution to an important debate.
'Lawson's systematic philosophical work on the reorientation of economics warrants a careful reading by any economist, heterodox or mainstream, who takes seriously the intellectual responsibility for the scientific viability of the discipline.' - Journal of Economic Issues
'Reorienting Economics is an important contribution … I would recommend it to economists and other scholars interested in methodology, philosophy, and heterodox traditions in economics.' - Feminist Economics
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.