Introduction: The New Philosophy of Economics

Don Ross and Harold Kincaid

in The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Economics

Published in print March 2009 | ISBN: 9780195189254
Published online September 2009 | e-ISBN: 9780199892105 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Philosophy

Introduction: The New Philosophy of Economics

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This article outlines a vision of what philosophy of economics should be. Its focus is on economic science, as opposed to the somewhat broader field taken by the philosophy of economics in general. In drawing this distinction, it follows Lionel Robbins, whose Essay on the Nature and Significance of Economic Science had its seventy-fifth anniversary of publication celebrated in 2007. Economists are far less preoccupied with abstract, grand, unified theories than they once were. Therefore, philosophers of economics should be less interested in this, too. Led by Nancy Cartwight and others, this was a conclusion many philosophers of science had arrived at independently. But this has led many to criticize economics because they did not quickly pick up on changes taking place in economics graduate curricula or circulating working papers. The new, situational, and pragmatic economics beautifully exemplifies the themes that philosophers of sciences had recently gathered from other disciplines.

Keywords: philosophy; economics; Lionel Robbins; Nancy Cartwight; science

Article.  13488 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Science

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