Munich Personal RePEc Archive

The Contrast between Mainstream and Heterodox Economics: A Misleading Controversy—“Necessary” System versus “Natural” System

Fusari, Angelo (2014): The Contrast between Mainstream and Heterodox Economics: A Misleading Controversy—“Necessary” System versus “Natural” System. Published in: Journal of Business and Economics , Vol. 5, No. N° 7 (July 2014): pp. 1077-1091.

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Abstract

This article focuses on a broad distinction within economic thinking and the methodological misconceptions that are implied by it. We find today, on the one hand, mainstream economics, which uses both the method of abstract rationality typical of the logical-formal sciences and the method of the natural sciences—two methodologies that, as we shall prove, are inappropriate for the study of social reality. On the other hand we find the opponents of mainstream economics, primarily heterodox economics, who emphasize methodological pluralism and lend, in the extreme, their support to the relativist view that all views may be right in their own way. Such an unconstrained pluralist attitude to method obstructs interaction and reciprocal understanding among students, the scientific appreciation of theoretical contributions and the same fecundating role of pluralism. We shall see that methodological diffuseness is the primary factor explaining the failure of attacks against mainstream economics and we shall look for a solution to this embarrassing impotence by searching for general methodological procedure and rules fully appropriate to the scientific study of social reality.

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