The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics

2018 Edition
| Editors: Macmillan Publishers Ltd

Pluralism in Economics

  • Sheila C. Dow
Reference work entry


This article explores the meaning of pluralism in economics and the arguments put forward in support of it. In particular, the distinction is drawn between methodological pluralism (support for variety in methodological approach) and a pluralist methodology (one which employs a variety of methods). Methodological pluralism usually takes the form of arguing that it is in the nature of knowledge about social systems that there will be variety of methodological approaches. But prescriptive arguments for a particular pluralist methodology may accompany the argument that this is the single best methodology (methodological monism).


Critical realism Methodological pluralism Monism Open systems Paradigms Pluralism in economics Pluralist methodology Positivism Postmodernism Rhetoric 

JEL Classification

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© Macmillan Publishers Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sheila C. Dow
    • 1
  1. 1.