Summary: Economic Methodology

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  • 1 Logical positivism

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  • What is the philosophy of science?

    Investigates the nature of assumptions, types of reasoning and forms of explanation used in sciences
  • What is economic methodology?

    Same as philosophy of science, only applied to economic science

    Examines the basis of the explanations given by economists and answers questions about the economy.
  • What are the two different approaches to economic methodology?

    1. Descriptive
    2. Prescriptive
  • What is the descriptive approach? (Positive methodology)

    Are intended to describe the different types of economic research practices and their results. 

    (Positive methodology, dealing with facts and raising the question of how science is practiced in the real world)
  • What is the prescriptive approach? (Normative methodology)

    Rules distinguishes between good and bad explanations in the economy and examine the qualtiy of the formulated explanations. 
    --> Good explanation: survived severe testing. (standards) 
    - Rules on how certain thing should be done and how claims should be formulated. 

    Normative methodology: how science should be  practiced. 
  • What is logical positivism? (Received view of science)

    Science only involves analytic and synthetic a posteriori propositions (not synthetic a priori) 

    Version of empiricism orginated from the Vienna Circle.
    First key document: Scientific view - Vienna Circle

    : all scientific languages, including mathematics, is an extention of logic.

    = empiricism: people learn from their experiences (knowledge by experience)
  • What is the Vienna Circle?

    Vienna Circle: program that sought to purify all metaphysic sciences and regared only analytic/ synthetic a posteriori proposition as scientific logic.
  • What were the three purposes of logical positivism?

    Main purpose of logical-positivist program: 
    • Delineate scientific knowledge
    • Distinguish science from non scientific/pseudo science 
    • Remove any form of metaphysical or imaginary content from scientific knowledge. 
  • What is the Demarcation rule? (Demarcation criterion)

    From the logical positivists program: was to accept only analystic/synthetic a posteriori statements or statements based on scientific knowledge.
  • What are analytic propositions?

    Analytic propositions: tautological, which means that they are true by definition and they are mathematically and logically valid

    vb: All bachelors are unmarried

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