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The meaning of open systems

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  • Victoria Chick
  • Sheila Dow

Abstract

There has been considerable discussion lately of the concept of open systems, which has revealed that different participants are using the terms 'openness' and 'closure' in different ways. The purpose of this paper is to address issues of meaning that arise in this particular discourse, with a view to clarifying both conflicts in usage and the underlying issues involved. We explore the different meanings of openness and closure extant in the literature, as applied at the ontological and epistemological levels, focusing on our own use of the terms in relation to that which prevails in neoclassical economics on the one hand and to the use made of them by Tony Lawson and other critical realists on the other.

Suggested Citation

  • Victoria Chick & Sheila Dow, 2005. "The meaning of open systems," Journal of Economic Methodology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 12(3), pages 363-381.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:jecmet:v:12:y:2005:i:3:p:363-381 DOI: 10.1080/13501780500223585
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Brian J. Loasby, 2003. "Closed models and open systems," SCEME Working Papers: Advances in Economic Methodology 004/2003, SCEME.
    2. Tony Lawson, 2004. "Reorienting Economics: On heterodox economics, themata and the use of mathematics in economics," Journal of Economic Methodology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 11(3), pages 329-340.
    3. Kregel, J A, 1976. "Economic Methodology in the Face of Uncertainty: The Modelling Methods of Keynes and the Post-Keynesians," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 86(342), pages 209-225, June.
    4. Brian Loasby, 2003. "Closed models and open systems," Journal of Economic Methodology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 10(3), pages 285-306.
    5. Victoria Chick, 1983. "Macroeconomics after Keynes: A Reconsideration of the General Theory," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262530457, January.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Fusari, Angelo, 2013. "Methodological Misconceptions in the Social Sciences. Rethinking social thought and social processes," MPRA Paper 60164, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 2013.
    2. Stockhammer, Engelbert, 2013. "The Euro crisis and contradictions of Neoliberalism in Europe," Economics Discussion Papers 2013-2, School of Economics, Kingston University London.
    3. Fullerton, Thomas M., Jr. & Sawyer, W. Charles & Sprinkle, Richard L., 2010. "Intra-industry trade in Latin America and the Caribbean," MPRA Paper 34854, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 2011.
    4. Robert Sproule & C?lin Vâlsan, 2009. "The student evaluation of teaching: its failure as a research program, and as an administrative guide," The AMFITEATRU ECONOMIC journal, Academy of Economic Studies - Bucharest, Romania, vol. 11(25), pages 125-150, February.
    5. Sheila Dow, 2013. "Teaching open-system economics," Chapters,in: Teaching Post Keynesian Economics, chapter 4, pages 73-87 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    6. Piero Ferri & Anna Maria Variato, 2007. "Macro Dynamics in a Model with Uncertainty," Working Papers (-2012) 0704, University of Bergamo, Department of Economics.
    7. Dow, Sheila, 2016. "Uncertainty: A diagrammatic treatment," Economics - The Open-Access, Open-Assessment E-Journal, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW), vol. 10, pages 1-25.
    8. Finn Olesen, 2010. "Uncertainty, bounded rationality and post-Keynesian Macroeconomics," European Journal of Economics and Economic Policies: Intervention, Edward Elgar Publishing, vol. 7(1), pages 109-124.
    9. Victoria Chick, 2013. "The future is open: on open-system theorising in economics," Chapters,in: Teaching Post Keynesian Economics, chapter 3, pages 56-72 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    10. Pirgmaier, Elke, 2017. "The Neoclassical Trojan Horse of Steady-State Economics," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 133(C), pages 52-61.
    11. Sheila Dow, 2009. "History of Thought and Methodology in Pluralist Economics Education," International Review of Economic Education, Economics Network, University of Bristol, pages 41-57.
    12. Andrikopoulos, Andreas & Economou, Labriana, 2016. "Coauthorship and subauthorship patterns in financial economics," International Review of Financial Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 12-19.
    13. Sheila C. Dow, 2014. "Consistency in pluralism and microfoundations," Working Papers PKWP1408, Post Keynesian Economics Study Group (PKSG).

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