Economics and Its Neighbors before 1980

Part of the Palgrave Philosophy Today book series (PPT)


The suite of modern human behavioral science disciplines — psychology, economics, linguistics, anthropology, sociology and political science — was born gradually between the scientific revolution and the end of the nineteenth century. A natural question for philosophers about this intellectual evolution hinges on realism versus social constructionism, to what extent does the division of labor it institutionalized reflect relatively deep and stable patterns in the structure of human society? To what extent is it a consequence of path-dependent accidents in the evolution of European and American universities? I will be arguing in the chapters ahead that there is no single overarching answer to this question. I will tell a mainly realist story about the difference between economics and psychology and a mainly constructionist story about the division between economics and sociology.


Utility Function Decision Theory Indifference Curve Invisible Hand Folk Psychology 
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Copyright information

© Don Ross 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Cape TownSouth Africa
  2. 2.Georgia State UniversityUSA

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