Journal Article

Transforming socio-economics with a new epistemology

Rogers Hollingsworth and Karl H. Müller

in Socio-Economic Review

Published on behalf of Society for the Advancement of Socio-Economics

Volume 6, issue 3, pages 395-426
Published in print July 2008 | ISSN: 1475-1461
Published online March 2008 | e-ISSN: 1475-147X | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ser/mwn006
Transforming socio-economics with a new epistemology

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  • Moral Philosophy
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This paper argues that a new scientific framework (Science II) has been slowly emerging, rivaling the Descartes–Newtonian perspective (Science I) dominant for several hundred years. The Science II framework places a great deal of emphasis on evolution, dynamism, chance and/or pattern recognition. As both cause and effect of the new perspective, scholars in the physical, biological and social sciences are increasingly addressing common problems, borrowing insights from and interacting with each other. The epistemology of Science II has enormous potential for understanding problems of fundamental interest to socio-economists. The paper focuses on five useful concepts in the framework of Science II: self-organizing processes, complex networks, power-law distributions, the general binding problem and multi-level analysis.

Keywords: complex networks; power-law distributions; multi-level analysis; interdisciplinarity; epistemology; inequality; socio-economics; A14 sociology of economics; D85 network formation and analysis; Y80 related disciplines

Journal Article.  11800 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Moral Philosophy ; Corporate Social Responsibility ; Welfare Economics ; Political Economy ; Economic Sociology

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