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The meaning of open systems

  • Victoria Chick
  • Sheila Dow

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.

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Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Journal of Economic Methodology.

Volume (Year): 12 (2005)
Issue (Month): 3 ()
Pages: 363-381

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Handle: RePEc:taf:jecmet:v:12:y:2005:i:3:p:363-381
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  1. 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.
  2. Victoria Chick, 1983. "Macroeconomics after Keynes: A Reconsideration of the General Theory," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262530457, June.
  3. Brian J. Loasby, 2003. "Closed models and open systems," SCEME Working Papers: Advances in Economic Methodology 004/2003, SCEME.
  4. 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 209-25, June.
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