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Paradigms and pluralism in heterodox economics

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  • Robert Garnett

Abstract

This paper seeks to reconcile two competing visions of heterodox economics: a radical Kuhnian view in which the chief aim of heterodox economists is to construct a unique, superior, and ultimately hegemonic paradigm to replace the prevailing paradigm(s) of mainstream economics, and an emerging pluralist view in which the principal goal of heterodox economics is to promote intellectual tolerance and exchange among academic economists at large. The author claims that leading heterodox economists (some of whom profess to be pluralists) remain committed to the paradigmist approach, but that heterodox economists would be better served by a freedom-centered synthesis of paradigmism and pluralism: an egalitarian pluralism that is committed to intellectual diversity as well as to capabilities-enhancing reforms in economic education, scholarship, and professional development. The author outlines a philosophical framework and justification for this egalitarian pluralist economics, combining McCloskey's vision of science as a pluralistic conversation with Sen's capability-centered view of human development.

Suggested Citation

  • Robert Garnett, 2006. "Paradigms and pluralism in heterodox economics," Review of Political Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 18(4), pages 521-546.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:revpoe:v:18:y:2006:i:4:p:521-546
    DOI: 10.1080/09538250600915725
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    2. Heise, Arne & Thieme, Sebastian, 2016. "The Short Rise and Long Fall of heterodox Economics in germany After the 1970s: Explorations in a Scientific Field of Power and Struggle," MPRA Paper 80022, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Dawn Richards Elliott, 2009. "What is the Comparative Advantage of the Service Learning Pedagogy? Insights from Development Economics," Forum for Social Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 38(2-3), pages 263-278, January.
    4. Gramkow, Camila, 2020. "Green fiscal policies: An armoury of instruments to recover growth sustainably," Estudios y Perspectivas – Oficina de la CEPAL en Brasilia 5, Naciones Unidas Comisión Económica para América Latina y el Caribe (CEPAL).
    5. Karey Harrison, 2013. "Ontological Commitments of Ethics and Economics," Economic Thought, World Economics Association, vol. 2(1), pages 1-1, April.
    6. Lo, Alex, 2014. "The Problem of Methodological Pluralism in Ecological Economics," MPRA Paper 49543, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. Robert Garnett, 2011. "Pluralism, Academic Freedom, and Heterodox Economics," Working Papers 201107, Texas Christian University, Department of Economics.
    8. Arne HEISE, 2016. "‘Why has economics turned out this way?’ A socio-economic note on the explanation of monism in economics," The Journal of Philosophical Economics, Bucharest Academy of Economic Studies, The Journal of Philosophical Economics, vol. 10(1), pages 81-101, November.
    9. J. Barkley Rosser Jr & Richard P.F. Holt & David Colander, 2010. "European Economics at a Crossroads," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 13585.
    10. Barbara Dluhosch, 2011. "European Economics at a Crossroads, by J. Barkley Rosser, Jr., Richard P. F. Holt, and David Colander," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 51(3), pages 629-631, August.
    11. Robert Garnett, 2011. "Why should Austrian economists be pluralists?," The Review of Austrian Economics, Springer;Society for the Development of Austrian Economics, vol. 24(1), pages 29-42, March.
    12. Urban, Janina & Rommel, Florian, 2020. "German economics: Its current form and content," Working Paper Series 56, Cusanus Hochschule für Gesellschaftsgestaltung, Institut für Ökonomie.
    13. Claudius Graebner & Birte Strunk, 2019. "Pluralism in economics: its critiques and their lessons," ICAE Working Papers 82, Johannes Kepler University, Institute for Comprehensive Analysis of the Economy.

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