Contemporary economics is characterized by a mismatch between its methods of analysis and the nature of the world it seeks to interpret. Despite regular economic crises and ongoing critique of the discipline, the drift from political economy into applied mathematics appears to continue unabated. In this book, Tony Lawson advocates a relignment of economics with social reality.
In analyzing mainstream economists' misplaced universality, the author places ontology at the heart of a reoriented future in which economics is integrated within the wider human and social sciences.
'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.