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Charles Sanders Peirce's economy of research


  • James Wible


Charles Sanders Peirce has authored an extraordinary 'Note on the Theory of the Economy of Research' (1879). The Note presents an economic model of research project selection in science. A case can be made that the Note was the first piece of modern scientific research in all of economics. This claim is based on the novelty of the method of argument, the graphical techniques, and the ratio of the marginal utilities found in the Note. The Note is also significant for making economic factors a central part of a theory of scientific inference, something which contemporary economic methodologists and philosophers still have not done except for a few notable exceptions. And it has been used by philosopher Nicholas Rescher to interpret and criticize Karl Popper's notion of falsification. All of these contributions suggest that Peirce's Note may be of unusual interest to the economics profession.

Suggested Citation

  • James Wible, 1994. "Charles Sanders Peirce's economy of research," Journal of Economic Methodology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 1(1), pages 135-160.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:jecmet:v:1:y:1994:i:1:p:135-160
    DOI: 10.1080/13501789400000009

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    Cited by:

    1. Butos William N. & Boettke Peter J., 2002. "Kirznerian Entrepreneurship and The Economics of Science," Journal des Economistes et des Etudes Humaines, De Gruyter, vol. 12(1), pages 1-14, March.
    2. Kevin Hoover & Mark Siegler, 2008. "Sound and fury: McCloskey and significance testing in economics," Journal of Economic Methodology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 15(1), pages 1-37.

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