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Critical realism and the Austrian paradox

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  • Adam Martin

Abstract

Austrian economics provokes mixed reactions among critical realists. It preaches methodological individualism, marginalism, and rational choice while embracing emergence, open processes, and error. The Austrian school stands paradoxically with one foot each in the mainstream marginalist tradition and heterodox social theory. I argue that this paradox can be disentangled by appeal to the fundamental distinction between the logic of choice and the logic of action. I then extend the analysis of the logic of action to the critical realist account of the basic ontology of social structures, arguing that successful retroduction of social structures depends on marginalist insights. Copyright The Author 2008. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Cambridge Political Economy Society. All rights reserved., Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Adam Martin, 2009. "Critical realism and the Austrian paradox," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 33(3), pages 517-530, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:cambje:v:33:y:2009:i:3:p:517-530
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1093/cje/ben051
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Martin, Adam, 2012. "Discovering rhetoric: The ecology of enterprise in the Bourgeois Era," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 41(6), pages 757-762.
    2. Adam Martin, 2014. "Where are the big bills? Escaping the endogenizer’s dilemma," The Review of Austrian Economics, Springer;Society for the Development of Austrian Economics, vol. 27(1), pages 81-95, March.
    3. Lukáš Kovanda, 2010. "Kritický realismus: ontologická báze postkeynesovské ekonomie
      [Critical Realism as an Ontological Basis of Post-Keynesianism]
      ," Politická ekonomie, University of Economics, Prague, vol. 2010(5), pages 608-622.
    4. Adam Martin, 2010. "The Analects of Boettke," Journal of Private Enterprise, The Association of Private Enterprise Education, vol. 26(Fall 2010), pages 125-141.

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