By Lawrence A. Boland
‘No method please, we’re economists.’ financial methodologists often bitch that they're neglected by means of the mainstream. training economists declare that technique has not anything beneficial to assert to them. during this usually provocative booklet, Lawrence Boland takes factor with each side, arguing that there was an excessive amount of ‘methodology for methodology’s sake’ and that mainstream economics could gain advantage through the use of technique to take a severe examine economics theory.
Containing twenty essays, so much of that are formerly unpublished or broadly revised, the publication discusses:
• Friedman’ s well-known essay on methodology
• the position of the belief o fmaximization in neoclassical economics
• the restrictions of conventional monetary methodology
• the chances for extra fruitfu lmethodological criticism
• Karl Popper’ s concept of science
Throughout, the essays emphasize the confident position of feedback as a significant a part of highbrow job.
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Additional resources for Critical Economic Methodology: A Personal Odyssey
But Friedman’s instrumentalism does not require such a role for assumptions. Both of De Alessi’s criticisms are founded on the view that modus tollens can be applied to Friedman’s view. In particular, it is the view that was asserted by Koopmans, namely that if any interpretation of a view (or argument) is considered false then the view itself must be false. But this presumes that the assumptions were necessary conditions. As I have said, that is not the case with instrumentalism. Hence De Alessi’s criticisms are irrelevant, even though one might find merit in the details of his argument.
But a more interesting question is the usefulness of any hypothesis in the future; past success will not guarantee future success. This presents a problem for the methodological conclusions that Friedman has, for the most part, presented correctly up to this point. He offers some weak arguments to deal with this problem. The first is an adaptation of a Social-Darwinist view that repeated success in the face of competition temporarily implies satisfaction of ‘the conditions for survival’ [p. 22].
19]. This leads Friedman to discuss the possibility that a false assumption might be applied as part of an explanation of some observed phenomenon. Here he introduces his famous version of the ‘as if’ theory of explanation. He says that as long as the observed phenomenon can be considered to be a logical conclusion from the argument containing the false assumption in question, the use of that FRIEDMAN’S METHODOLOGY ESSAY 27 assumption should be acceptable. g. the demand curve derived with the assumption of maximizing behavior), so long as the effect is in fact observed and it would be the effect if they were in fact to behave as we assume, we can use our behavioral assumption even when the assumption is false.
Critical Economic Methodology: A Personal Odyssey by Lawrence A. Boland