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Evolutionary realism: a new ontology for economics

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  • Kurt Dopfer
  • Jason Potts

Abstract

The renaissance in evolutionary economics in the past two decades has brought with it a great deal of theoretical development and interdisciplinary import. Much of this has been useful, but not all of it has been commensurate. In this paper, we make the case for the limits to theoretical developments that lack clearly specified ontological commitments by attempting an inductive synthesis of the ontological content of empirical generalizations in evolutionary economics. We call this 'evolutionary realism' and present it in three axioms - (1) all existences are bimodal matter-energy actualizations of ideas, (2) all existences associate, and (3) all existences are processes. We conclude with discussion of the sort of analytical framework that we might consistently build on these axioms; a three-level analytical structure of micro, meso and macro domains.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Journal of Economic Methodology.

Volume (Year): 11 (2004)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
Pages: 195-212

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Handle: RePEc:taf:jecmet:v:11:y:2004:i:2:p:195-212

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Related research

Keywords: ontology; evolutionary realism; micro-meso-macro economics framework; structure; process;

References

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Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
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  1. Prof John Foster, 2004. "From Simplistic to Complex Systems in Economics," Discussion Papers Series 335, School of Economics, University of Queensland, Australia.
  2. Jason Potts, 2001. "Knowledge and markets," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 11(4), pages 413-431.
  3. Kurt Dopfer, 2004. "The economic agent as rule maker and rule user: Homo Sapiens Oeconomicus," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 14(2), pages 177-195, 06.
  4. Geoffrey M. Hodgson, 2002. "Darwinism in economics: from analogy to ontology," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 12(3), pages 259-281.
  5. Kurt Dopfer & John Foster & Jason Potts, 2004. "Micro-meso-macro," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 14(3), pages 263-279, 07.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Martin, Ron & Sunley, Peter, 2012. "Forms of emergence and the evolution of economic landscapes," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 82(2), pages 338-351.
  2. Jo, Tae-Hee, 2011. "Social Provisioning Process and Socio-Economic Modeling," MPRA Paper 28969, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  3. Sylvie Geisendorf, 2011. "Internal selection and market selection in economic Genetic Algorithms," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 21(5), pages 817-841, December.
  4. Gual, Miguel A. & Norgaard, Richard B., 2010. "Bridging ecological and social systems coevolution: A review and proposal," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(4), pages 707-717, February.
  5. Dopfer, Kurt & Potts, Jason, 2010. "Why evolutionary realism underpins evolutionary economic analysis and theory: A reply to Runde's critique," Journal of Institutional Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 6(03), pages 401-413, September.
  6. Sandra Silva & Aurora Teixeira, 2009. "On the divergence of evolutionary research paths in the past 50 years: a comprehensive bibliometric account," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 19(5), pages 605-642, October.
  7. Ron Martin & Peter Sunley, 2007. "Complexity thinking and evolutionary economic geography," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 7(5), pages 573-601, September.
  8. Wilfred Dolfsma & Loet Leydesdorff, 2010. "The citation field of evolutionary economics," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 20(5), pages 645-664, October.
  9. Domenico Gatti & Edoardo Gaffeo & Mauro Gallegati, 2010. "Complex agent-based macroeconomics: a manifesto for a new paradigm," Journal of Economic Interaction and Coordination, Springer, vol. 5(2), pages 111-135, December.
  10. Yoguel, Gabriel & Pereira, Mariano, 2014. "Industrial and technological policy: Contributions from evolutionary perspectives to policy design in developing countries," MPRA Paper 56290, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  11. Scheltjens, Werner, 2008. "The impact of a new port on the organization of maritime shipping: an attempt to generalize the results of a case-study on the foundation of St. Petersburg and its influence on Dutch maritime shipping," MPRA Paper 9054, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 20 Apr 2008.
  12. Kakarot-Handtke, Egmont, 2010. "Axiomatic Basics of e-Economics," MPRA Paper 24331, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  13. Ulrich Witt, 2008. "What is specific about evolutionary economics?," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 18(5), pages 547-575, October.
  14. Ron Martin & Peter Sunley, 2014. "Towards a Developmental Turn in Evolutionary Economic Geography?," Papers in Evolutionary Economic Geography (PEEG) 1401, Utrecht University, Section of Economic Geography, revised Jan 2014.
  15. Ron Martin & Peter Sunley, 2011. "Forms of Emergence and the Evolution of Economic Landscapes," Papers in Evolutionary Economic Geography (PEEG) 1116, Utrecht University, Section of Economic Geography, revised Aug 2011.
  16. He, Zheng & Rayman-Bacchus, Lez & Wu, Yiming, 2011. "Self-organization of industrial clustering in a transition economy: A proposed framework and case study evidence from China," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 40(9), pages 1280-1294.
  17. Sylvie Geisendorf, 2009. "The economic concept of evolution: self-organization or Universal Darwinism?," Journal of Economic Methodology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 16(4), pages 377-391.

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