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Milton Friedman's Epistemology

Author

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  • Antonio G. CALAFATI

    () (Universita' Politecnica delle Marche, Dipartimento di Economia)

Abstract

Friedman published his celebrated "The Methodology of Positive Economics" in 1952. In it Friedman set himself a normative objective: that of defining the procedures and rules with which economists must comply in their research activity in order to achieve 'scientific knowledge'. Despite the radical criticisms brought against it within the profession and, above all, from philosophers of science, Friedman's canons have been the basis for an extraordinary large body of economic research over several decades. By moving from a historical-critical level, this paper sets forth to explain the widespread acceptance in economics of Friedman's canons notwithstanding that from a strictly epistemological point of view his position is patently self-contradictory. Friedman's epistemology, it is argued in the paper, has 'solved' a fundamental problem of methodology, and namely the integration of apriorism and empiricism - a question that had become of central importance in economics since the Thirties and was regarded as the main challenge to the neoclassical scientific paradigm.

Suggested Citation

  • Antonio G. CALAFATI, 2007. "Milton Friedman's Epistemology," Working Papers 280, Universita' Politecnica delle Marche (I), Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche e Sociali.
  • Handle: RePEc:anc:wpaper:280
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    Cited by:

    1. Ugo FRATESI, 2010. "The National and International Effects;of Regional Policy Choices: Agglomeration Economies, Peripherality and Territorial Characteristics," Working Papers 344, Universita' Politecnica delle Marche (I), Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche e Sociali.
    2. Luca RICCETTI, 2010. "Minimum Tracking Error Volatility," Working Papers 340, Universita' Politecnica delle Marche (I), Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche e Sociali.
    3. Luca RICCETTI, 2011. "A Copula-GARCH Model for Macro Asset Allocation of a Portfolio with Commodities: an Out-of-Sample Analysis," Working Papers 355, Universita' Politecnica delle Marche (I), Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche e Sociali.
    4. Fabio FIORILLO & Agnese SACCHI, 2010. "I Want to Free-ride. An Opportunistic View on Decentralization Versus Centralization Problem," Working Papers 346, Universita' Politecnica delle Marche (I), Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche e Sociali.
    5. Elena AMBROSETTI & Eralba CELA & Tineke FOKKEMA, 2011. "The Remittances Behaviour of the Second Generation in Europe: Altruism or Self-Interest?," Working Papers 368, Universita' Politecnica delle Marche (I), Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche e Sociali.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • B10 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought through 1925 - - - General
    • B20 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought since 1925 - - - General
    • B40 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Economic Methodology - - - General
    • B41 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Economic Methodology - - - Economic Methodology

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