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Science and ideology in economic, political and social thought

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  • Hillinger, Claude

Abstract

This paper has two sources: One is my own research in three broad areas: business cycles, economic measurement and social choice. In all of these fields I attempted to apply the basic precepts of the scientific method as it is understood in the natural sciences. I found that my effort at using natural science methods in economics was met with little understanding and often considerable hostility. I found economics to be driven less by common sense and empirical evidence, than by various ideologies that exhibited either a political or a methodological bias, or both. This brings me to the second source: Several books have appeared recently that describe in historical terms the ideological forces that have shaped either the direct areas in which I worked, or a broader background. These books taught me that the ideological forces in the social sciences are even stronger than I imagined on the basis of my own experiences. The scientific method is the antipode to ideology. I feel that the scientific work that I have done on specific, long standing and fundamental problems in economics and political science have given me additional insights into the destructive role of ideology beyond the history of thought orientation of the works I will be discussing.

Suggested Citation

  • Hillinger, Claude, 2007. "Science and ideology in economic, political and social thought," Economics Discussion Papers 2007-43, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:ifwedp:6170
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. L. R. Klein & R. F. Kosobud, 1961. "Some Econometrics of Growth: Great Ratios of Economics," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 75(2), pages 173-198.
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    Cited by:

    1. Rick Wicks, 2009. "A model of dynamic balance among the three spheres of society – markets, governments, and communities: Applied to understanding the relative importance of social capital and social goods," International Journal of Social Economics, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 36(5), pages 535-565, April.
    2. repec:pfq:journl:v:63:y:2018:i:1:p:96-112 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Hillinger, Claude, 2010. "The crisis and beyond: Thinking outside the box," Economics - The Open-Access, Open-Assessment E-Journal, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW), vol. 4, pages 1-61.
    4. Hillinger, Claude, 2008. "Measuring Real Value and Inflation," Economics - The Open-Access, Open-Assessment E-Journal, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW), vol. 2, pages 1-26.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Business cycles; Ideology; Science; Voting; Welfare measurement;

    JEL classification:

    • C50 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling - - - General
    • B40 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Economic Methodology - - - General
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • D71 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Social Choice; Clubs; Committees; Associations
    • D6 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics

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