Ideas on Economic Science and its Method Over the Past Sixty Years

  • Ricardo F. CrespoEmail author
Part of the SpringerBriefs in Philosophy book series (BRIEFSPHILOSOPH)


This chapter reviews the epistemological positions and new economic currents that emerged over the past 60 years, distinguishing the two phases of “economic imperialism” and “reverse imperialism”. The description of the first phase starts with Milton Friedman’s position, moving on to discuss the influence of twentieth-century epistemological conceptions on economics. The limits of Gary Becker’s research project are noted, while some precisions on maximization shed some light on the confusions that it often creates. Methodological individualism and the program of “micro-foundations” are then introduced. A shorter account of the second phase includes a special reference to behavioral and experimental economics.


Friedman’s economic methodology Popper Lakatos and economics The rhetoric of economics Methodological Individualism Notion of maximization Current mainstream pluralism Behavioral economics 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyUniversidad Nacional de Cuyo and Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y TécnicasMendozaArgentina

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