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Truth and Progress in Economic Knowledge

Truth and Progress in Economic Knowledge

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Truth and Progress in Economic Knowledge provides a new perspective on economic methodology, specifically addressing progress in economic knowledge. This important investigation argues that economic methodology is developed through analysing economics, not through imposing a framework developed in other sciences.

Roger Backhouse begins his discussion by defending economic methodology both against economists who object to it on practical grounds and post-modern critics who argue that the notion of methodology makes no sense. He then explores the concept of progress, drawing on ideas from Kuhn, the notion of pragmatism and the Popperian tradition. The discussion develops to examine theoretical economics, considering Lakatos's concept of informal mathematics, analysing replication in economics and the use of econometrics and informal empirical methods to test economic theories. The author argues that replication is not simply an econometric problem, but a problem for economics, as it involves both the nature of economic theory and the way in which economists use economic results.

This new approach to economic methodology will be of special interest to academics, philosophers with an interest in economics and social sciences, and students of economic methodology.

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