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Paradigms and pluralism in heterodox economics

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  • Robert Garnett
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    Abstract

    This paper seeks to reconcile two competing visions of heterodox economics: a radical Kuhnian view in which the chief aim of heterodox economists is to construct a unique, superior, and ultimately hegemonic paradigm to replace the prevailing paradigm(s) of mainstream economics, and an emerging pluralist view in which the principal goal of heterodox economics is to promote intellectual tolerance and exchange among academic economists at large. The author claims that leading heterodox economists (some of whom profess to be pluralists) remain committed to the paradigmist approach, but that heterodox economists would be better served by a freedom-centered synthesis of paradigmism and pluralism: an egalitarian pluralism that is committed to intellectual diversity as well as to capabilities-enhancing reforms in economic education, scholarship, and professional development. The author outlines a philosophical framework and justification for this egalitarian pluralist economics, combining McCloskey's vision of science as a pluralistic conversation with Sen's capability-centered view of human development.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Review of Political Economy.

    Volume (Year): 18 (2006)
    Issue (Month): 4 ()
    Pages: 521-546

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    Handle: RePEc:taf:revpoe:v:18:y:2006:i:4:p:521-546

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    1. Colander, David, 2000. "The Death of Neoclassical Economics," Journal of the History of Economic Thought, Cambridge University Press, vol. 22(02), pages 127-143, June.
    2. David Colander & Ric Holt & Barkley Rosser, 2003. "The Changing Face of Mainstream Economics," Middlebury College Working Paper Series 0327, Middlebury College, Department of Economics.
    3. Rutherford, Malcolm, 2000. "The Prospects of Heterodox Economics: a Comment," Journal of the History of Economic Thought, Cambridge University Press, vol. 22(02), pages 185-188, June.
    4. Davis, John B., 2002. "The Emperor's Clothes," Journal of the History of Economic Thought, Cambridge University Press, vol. 24(02), pages 141-154, June.
    5. Backhouse, Roger E., 2000. "Progress in Heterodox Economics," Journal of the History of Economic Thought, Cambridge University Press, vol. 22(02), pages 149-155, June.
    6. Sargent, Thomas J & Wallace, Neil, 1975. ""Rational" Expectations, the Optimal Monetary Instrument, and the Optimal Money Supply Rule," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 83(2), pages 241-54, April.
    7. Geoffrey Hodgson, 2002. "Visions of Mainstream Economics: A Response to Richard Nelson and Jack Vromen," Review of Social Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 60(1), pages 125-133.
    8. Goodwin, Craufurd D., 2000. "Comment: It's the Homogeneity, Stupid!," Journal of the History of Economic Thought, Cambridge University Press, vol. 22(02), pages 179-183, June.
    9. Frederic Lee & Steve Keen, 2004. "The Incoherent Emperor: A Heterodox Critique of Neoclassical Microeconomic Theory," Review of Social Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 62(2), pages 169-199.
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    Cited by:
    1. Dawn Richards Elliott, 2009. "What is the Comparative Advantage of the Service Learning Pedagogy? Insights from Development Economics," Forum for Social Economics, Springer, vol. 38(2), pages 263-278, July.
    2. Robert Garnett, 2011. "Why should Austrian economists be pluralists?," The Review of Austrian Economics, Springer, vol. 24(1), pages 29-42, March.
    3. Lo, Alex, 2014. "The Problem of Methodological Pluralism in Ecological Economics," MPRA Paper 49543, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Robert Garnett, 2011. "Pluralism, Academic Freedom, and Heterodox Economics," Working Papers 201107, Texas Christian University, Department of Economics.
    5. Karey Harrison, 2013. "Ontological Commitments of Ethics and Economics," Economic Thought, World Economics Association, vol. 2(1), pages 1, April.

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