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Critical Realism and Economics


  • Thomas A. Boylan

    (University College Galway (National University of Ireland), Ireland)

  • Paschal F. O?Gorman

    (University College Galway (National University of Ireland), Ireland)


One of the most substantial and challenging post-positivist methodologies is represented by realism, particularly as expounded by Lawson in the form of transcendental realism or in the context of the social domain as critical realism. Lawson?s exposition is the focus of this paper. More specifically we question the commitment to specific modes of philosophical arguments, in this case transcendentalism, to guarantee the social ontology posited by critical realism. The paper provides a critical analysis of a number of mayor issues including the critical realism account of explanation, the role of theory in economics, abstraction and abductive influence.

Suggested Citation

  • Thomas A. Boylan & Paschal F. O?Gorman, 1997. "Critical Realism and Economics," Ekonomia, Cyprus Economic Society and University of Cyprus, vol. 1(2), pages 9-21, Winter.
  • Handle: RePEc:ekn:ekonom:v:1:y:1997:i:2:p:9-21

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    JEL classification:

    • B40 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Economic Methodology - - - General


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