Ontology and Economics
The mind-dependent/mind-independent, the thing/activity as well as the older corporeal/incorporeal reality distinctions are all very helpful in distinguishing the subject matter of the social sciences from that of the natural sciences. The distinctions point to a profound ontological difference between the subject matter of the natural sciences and that of the social sciences, and raises important questions about the applicability of the theory formation techniques, criteria and procedures developed in the natural sciences to social science. Measurability, the foundational criterion of the natural sciences assumes that the ‘thing’, the object of measurement, is measureable by means that are independent of and do not alter or affect the thing being measured. It also assumes that the unit used to measure can also be used to measure other ‘things’ that bear a relationship to what is being measured. Without it the subject matter of the inquiry is incommensurable.
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