IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/taf/jecmet/v2y1995i1p105-122.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Is Milton Friedman an artist or a scientist?

Author

Listed:
  • David Colander

Abstract

Most economists will agree that Milton Friedman is a brilliant economist. Yet, the majority assessment is that his work is ideologically flawed, and that the Marshallian economics he advocates has been superseded by Walrasian economics. In this paper I argue that the reason for this negative assessment is that Friedman, like Alfred Marshall before him, tried to straddle a fence between policy and logical-deductive theory, combining the artistic science of the historical and institutional school with the logical-deductive science of economics under a single category which Friedman called positive economics. This combination worked for Marshall, but did not work for Friedman, I argue that the profession's criticisms of Friedman stand, if he is viewed as a positive scientist as the profession currently defines positive economics - as logical deductive exercises. But that, I argue, is not how Friedman should be viewed; he should, instead, be viewed as an economic artist - as an applied policy economist extraordinaire - whose primary flaw has been his failure to make clear the importance of the artistic component of his economic science.

Suggested Citation

  • David Colander, 1995. "Is Milton Friedman an artist or a scientist?," Journal of Economic Methodology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 2(1), pages 105-122.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:jecmet:v:2:y:1995:i:1:p:105-122
    DOI: 10.1080/13501789500000005
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/13501789500000005
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:taf:jecmet:v:2:y:1995:i:1:p:105-122. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Chris Longhurst). General contact details of provider: http://www.tandfonline.com/RJEC20 .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.