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Disputed (Disciplinary) Boundaries: Philosophy, Economics and Value Judgments

Listed author(s):
  • Paolo Silvestri

    ()

    (Department of Economics and Statistics «Cognetti de Martiis» - University of Turin)

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    This paper aims to address the following two questions: a) what is the logic of the kind of discourse that seeks to found, demarcate or defend the autonomy or the boundaries of a discipline; b) why does this discourse, whether methodological, ontological or epistemological, sometimes turn into normative, dogmatic-excommunicating wrangles among disciplines, schools or scholars? I will argue that an adequate answer may be found if we understand: 1) disciplines as institutions and, therefore, as dogmatic systems, where scholars’ discourse often takes the form of a legitimizing discourse regarding the founding Reference of their own discipline; 2) that scholars speak in the name of that very foundation, with which they closely identify; 3) that the issue of the legitimacy of a discipline cannot easily be separated from the issue of identity and, therefore, of a scholar’s legitimacy; 4) that the excommunication may arise not only when the founding Reference is absolutized, but also as a form of selfdefense of a scholar’s identity-legitimacy. To understand these claims I will re-examine three paradigmatic positions: the methodological, ontological and epistemological considerations put forward by (and the debates between) Pareto, Croce and Einaudi – with specific reference to the demarcation between philosophy, economics and value-judgments.

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    Article provided by Fabrizio Serra Editore, Pisa - Roma in its journal History of Economic Ideas.

    Volume (Year): 24 (2016)
    Issue (Month): 3 ()
    Pages: 187-221

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    Handle: RePEc:hid:journl:v:24:y:2016:3:9:p:187-221
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