01:30 PM to 04:10 PM F
Innovation Hall 328
Section Information for Fall 2015
This course, first, assesses arguments economists use to defend the status of their discipline as a science, that is, its ability to represent, explain, predict, or help to manage facts about the world. Philosophers of science dig into such claims and question whether and how models, constructs, theories, laws, metaphors, useful fictions, and other concepts associated with economics help us to understand or explain our experience. This course asks how one could tell which of many conflicting economic theories and prescriptions are correct – for example, if and how propositions economists defend can be tested.
Second, although many economists would deny it, economic research is chock-a-block with values such as “cost” “benefit,” “welfare,” “efficiency,” and “wealth.” How do economists understand and measure these values? This course asks, in other words, whether and how economic science can tell us anything about facts or about values. Since these are philosophical questions, we shall approach them – as many economists themselves have done -- through philosophical analysis. The readings are typical of a course in philosophy of economics and range from John Stuart Mill and Lionel Robbins to Milton Friedman and James Buchanan. There are also some introductory readings in the philosophy of science.
View 6 Other Sections of this Course in this Semester »
Enrollment limited to students with a class of Advanced to Candidacy, Graduate or Non-Degree.
Enrollment is limited to Graduate level students.