Why Economists Do Not Make Discoveries

  • Edmond Malinvaud
Part of the International Economic Association Series book series (IEA)

Abstract

Methodology has an ambiguous position in science. On the one hand, it appears as a soft part in any discipline it is discussing:1 the statements are more disputable than in the substantial parts of the discipline; they are mainly meant to define the legitimate domains of the use of existing scientific practices, rather than to change these practices fundamentally; thus methodology follows rather than leads scientific progress. On the other hand, methodology is an unvoidable part of science: since research is a collective activity, scientists must aim at agreement on the objectives pursued; they need norms of significant achievement and good practice; when various schools co-exist, they may disagree with each other more about some objective or norm than on substantial issues. Many objectives and norms are common to all disciplines, whether they are in the natural or the social sciences; but each discipline also has its own features, implying particular ways of looking at problems and scientific behaviour.

Keywords

Nash Clarification Milton 

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Copyright information

© International Economic Association 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Edmond Malinvaud
    • 1
  1. 1.Centre De Recherche en Economie et StatistiqueINSEEFrance

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