The Practice of Economics

  • Benjamin Ward


In the last chapter it was argued that if one judges it by the standards which Kuhn has used in categorizing natural sciences, then economics passes muster as a science with. flying colors. But some questions remain. Why is it that economists sometimes agree and sometimes disagree? Why are some sciences (and some parts of economics) hard, and others soft? How does one, scientifically speaking, come to know, and what sorts of things can one come to know? These are questions which will recur frequently in what follows. In the present chapter what is sought is a brief description of the processes of change in normal economics and of the factors that influence that change. The framework of the discussion remains that of Kuhn, especialiy his ingenious notion of a puzzle, though some shifts of emphasis and reinterpretation have been made to accommodate the special situation of a social science.1 The five types of factors whose influence on the development of economics will be considered are puzzles, stylized facts, issues, the framework, and power.2


Stylize Fact Neoclassical Economic Normal Science Economic Science Liberal Philosophy 
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© Basic Books, Inc. 1972

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  • Benjamin Ward

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