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Effective Tension in Robbins' Economic Methodology

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  • D. WADE HANDS

Abstract

Lionel Robbins' "Essay" is one of the most influential methodological works in twentieth century economics. This said, the "Essay" is not philosophically seamless; it exhibits certain tensions that are not easily reconciled within any specific philosophical characterization of scientific knowledge. This paper discusses these issues, but also emphasizes that these tensions did not inhibit the influence of the "Essay" within economics. In fact, it is argued that these philosophical tensions actually contributed to its influence. It was a methodology for economics, not for philosophers, and its influence needs to be understood within the context of 1930s marginalist economics. Copyright (c) The London School of Economics and Political Science 2009.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by London School of Economics and Political Science in its journal Economica.

Volume (Year): 76 (2009)
Issue (Month): s1 (October)
Pages: 831-844

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Handle: RePEc:bla:econom:v:76:y:2009:i:s1:p:831-844

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