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Milton Friedman's Epistemology

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  • Antonio G. CALAFATI

    ()
    (Universita' Politecnica delle Marche, Dipartimento di Economia)

Abstract

Friedman published his celebrated "The Methodology of Positive Economics" in 1952. In it Friedman set himself a normative objective: that of defining the procedures and rules with which economists must comply in their research activity in order to achieve 'scientific knowledge'. Despite the radical criticisms brought against it within the profession and, above all, from philosophers of science, Friedman's canons have been the basis for an extraordinary large body of economic research over several decades. By moving from a historical-critical level, this paper sets forth to explain the widespread acceptance in economics of Friedman's canons notwithstanding that from a strictly epistemological point of view his position is patently self-contradictory. Friedman's epistemology, it is argued in the paper, has 'solved' a fundamental problem of methodology, and namely the integration of apriorism and empiricism - a question that had become of central importance in economics since the Thirties and was regarded as the main challenge to the neoclassical scientific paradigm.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Universita' Politecnica delle Marche (I), Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche e Sociali in its series Working Papers with number 280.

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Date of creation: Mar 2007
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Handle: RePEc:anc:wpaper:280

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Cited by:
  1. Luca RICCETTI, 2010. "Minimum Tracking Error Volatility," Working Papers 340, Universita' Politecnica delle Marche (I), Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche e Sociali.
  2. Elena AMBROSETTI & Eralba CELA & Tineke FOKKEMA, 2011. "The Remittances Behaviour of the Second Generation in Europe: Altruism or Self-Interest?," Working Papers 368, Universita' Politecnica delle Marche (I), Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche e Sociali.
  3. Ugo FRATESI, 2010. "The National and International Effects;of Regional Policy Choices: Agglomeration Economies, Peripherality and Territorial Characteristics," Working Papers 344, Universita' Politecnica delle Marche (I), Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche e Sociali.
  4. Fabio FIORILLO & Agnese SACCHI, 2010. "I Want to Free-ride. An Opportunistic View on Decentralization Versus Centralization Problem," Working Papers 346, Universita' Politecnica delle Marche (I), Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche e Sociali.
  5. Luca RICCETTI, 2011. "A Copula-GARCH Model for Macro Asset Allocation of a Portfolio with Commodities: an Out-of-Sample Analysis," Working Papers 355, Universita' Politecnica delle Marche (I), Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche e Sociali.

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