Economic methodology has been dominated by developments in the philosophy of science. This book’s central thesis is that a great deal can be gained by refocusing attention on developments in the philosophy of mathematics, in particular those that took place over the course of the twentieth century.
In this book the authors argue that a close examination of the major developments in the philosophy of mathematics both deepens and enriches our understanding of the formalisation of economics, while also offering novel methods of critically evaluating the strengths and limitations of formalism in economics. This book represents an innovative attempt to more fully understand the complexity of the interaction between developments in the philosophy of mathematics and the process of formalisation in economics.
Introduction 1. Formalism in a new light: the Walras-Poincaré Correspondence 2. The Neo-Walrasian Programme: Mathematics or Science? 3. Axiomatization in Economics: Conflicting Perspectives 4. The Constructivist Philosophy of Mathematics: Challenges to Orthodox Economic Theorizing? 5. Kaldor and the Critique of Equilibrium 6. Post-Keynesian Economics and Conventions: The Poincaré Challenge to Current Analyses 7. Economic Methodology, Philosophy of Science and Philosophy of Mathematics: A New Synthesis? Appendix: Poincaré’s Philosophy of Mathematics: An Overview