Did the Financial Crisis Write a "Swansong" for Positivist Economics?

Lukáš Kovanda

DOI: https://doi.org/10.46938/tv.2014.261


It has been widely accepted that philosophers of science wrote a "swansong" for positivism during the second half of the 20th century. Milton Friedman and Paul Samuelson, major contributors in the field of economic methodology at the time, the argument goes, did never reflect the demise. Therefore, positivist roots - primarily in the form of reductionist approach - are still to be found in influential theoretical concepts developed by mainstream economists. However, quite a large number of scholars currently share the view that these concepts contributed in a non-negligible manner to the development leading to the financial crisis culminating in 2008 and 2009. The article thus asks if it is the crisis - seen by many as an empirical rejection of many positivistic concepts - that wrote a "swansong" for positivism in mainstream economics.


metodologie ekonomie; pozitivismus; redukcionismus; heterodoxie; orthodoxie; Milton Friedman; Paul Samuelson; Wilhelm Röpke

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TEORIE VĚDY / THEORY OF SCIENCE – journal for interdisciplinary studies of science is published twice a year by the Institute of Philosophy of the Czech Academy of Sciences (Centre for Science, Technology, and Society Studies). ISSN 1210-0250 (Print) ISSN 1804-6347 (Online) MK ČR E 18677 web: http://teorievedy.flu.cas.cz /// email: teorievedy@flu.cas.cz