Critical realism in economics and open-systems ontology: A critique
AbstractThis paper examines the treatment of ontology offered by critical realism. It addresses much of the material elaborated upon in two editions of this journal. Three main groups of criticisms are made here of the critical realist treatment of open systems. It is argued that critical realism, particularly in the project in economics emanating from Cambridge, UK, tends to define systems in terms of events. This definition is shown to be problematic. The exemplar of a closed system provided by critical realism of the solar system is shown to be flawed in that it is not closed according to the closure conditions identified by critical realism. Second, the negativity of the definitions adopted is problematic for heterodox traditions attempting to build positive programmes. Furthermore, the dualism of the definitions is also inconsistent with Dow's approach, which has ramifications for the coherence of post Keynesianism. Third, the definitions tend to polarize open and closed systems and ignore the degrees of openness evident in reality. The polarization of systems leads to polarized methodology and unsustainable arguments to reject so-called “closed-systems methods.”
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Review of Social Economy.
Volume (Year): 64 (2006)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://www.tandfonline.com/RRSE20
Other versions of this item:
- Andrew Mearman, 2004. "Critical Realism in Economics and Open-Systems Ontology: A Critique," Working Papers 0401, Department of Accounting, Economics and Finance, Bristol Business School, University of the West of England, Bristol.
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.:
- Lawson, Tony, 1989. "Realism and Instrumentalism in the Development of Econometrics," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 41(1), pages 236-58, January.
- T. Lawson., 2006. "A Realist Perspective on Contemporary "Economic Theory"," VOPROSY ECONOMIKI, N.P. Redaktsiya zhurnala "Voprosy Economiki", vol. 2.
- Sheila Dow, 2004. "Reorienting Economics: Some epistemological issues," Journal of Economic Methodology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 11(3), pages 307-312.
- Lawson, Tony, 1995. "The 'Lucas Critique': A Generalisation," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 19(2), pages 257-76, April.
- Lawson, Tony, 1989. "Abstraction, Tendencies and Stylised Facts: A Realist Approach to Economic Analysis," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 13(1), pages 59-78, March.
- Tony Lawson, 1997. "Critical Issues in Economics as Realist Social Theory," Ekonomia, Cyprus Economic Society and University of Cyprus, vol. 1(2), pages 75-117, Winter.
- Tony Lawson, 1994. "The Nature of Post Keynesianism and Its Links to Other Traditions: A Realist Perspective," Journal of Post Keynesian Economics, M.E. Sharpe, Inc., vol. 16(4), pages 503-538, July.
- Hahn, F H, 1989. "Kaldor on Growth," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 13(1), pages 47-57, March.
- Paul Downward & Andrew Mearman, 2002. "Critical Realism and Econometrics: Constructive Dialogue with Post Keynesian Economics," Metroeconomica, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 53(4), pages 391-415, November.
- Stephen P. Dunn, 2000. "Wither Post Keynesianism?," Journal of Post Keynesian Economics, M.E. Sharpe, Inc., vol. 22(3), pages 343-364, April.
- Andrew Brown & Gary Slater & David A. Spencer, 2002. "Driven to abstraction? Critical realism and the search for the 'inner connection' of social phenomena," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 26(6), pages 773-788, November.
- Alex Viskovatoff, 1998. "Is Gerard Debreu a Deductivist? Commentary on Tony Lawson's Economics and Reality," Review of Social Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 56(3), pages 335-346.
- Tony Lawson, 1997. "Situated rationality," Journal of Economic Methodology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 4(1), pages 101-125.
- Duo Qin, 2014. "Inextricability of Autonomy and Confluence in Econometrics," Working Papers 189, Department of Economics, SOAS, University of London, UK.
- Strachman, Eduardo & Fucidji, José Ricardo, 2010.
"The Current Financial and Economic Crisis: Empirical and Methodological Issues,"
27130, University Library of Munich, Germany.
- Eduardo Strachman & José Ricardo Fucidji, 2012. "The Current Financial And Economic Crisis: Empirical And Methodological Issues," Journal of Advanced Studies in Finance, ASERS Publishing, vol. 0(1), pages 95-123, June.
- Jussi Ahokas, 2011. "A comprehensive view of regional economic development in Finland," ERSA conference papers ersa10p469, European Regional Science Association.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Michael McNulty).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.