'Open-Systems' and Economic Methodology
This paper discusses some of the methodological implications of an ‘open-systems’ reality. It presents a possible ontology of open systems which draws on various literatures including, but not limited to, Critical Realism. The paper then extrapolates from the ontology to a set of methodological arguments. Many methods in economics presuppose a degree of closure in their operation. Deductive logic is discussed in this context. This constitutes a disjuncture with reality. It could be argued, therefore, that these methods should be rejected. However, an open-systems methodology is also an open system and it will reflect the impact of other literatures. Thus, based on fallibilism and an avoidance of dualism (in Dow’s terms) rejection of so-called ‘closed-systems methods’ is not an option. Also, given the preponderance of closures in available methods, this would leave little scope for investigation. Thus, a strategy of triangulation should be adopted.
|Date of creation:||Feb 2004|
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Web page: http://www1.uwe.ac.uk/bl/research/bristoleconomics.aspx
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