Economics and Philosophy

Essays

Roy Weintraub's Studies in Appraisal: Lakatosian Consolations or Something Else?

Andrea Salantia1

a1 Università degli Studi di Bergamo

As made manifest by Clower's (1975) comments on their “science fiction” nature, general equilibrium theories (GET) present such peculiar and puzzling features that the methodologist must perforce seek some specific methodological accommodation for this part of economic theory. The role played by such theories in contemporary economics is so fundamental (in the sense of Green, 1981) that the impossibility of appraising them by means of any version of falsificationism, and their patent lack of (excess) empirical content if approached with the conceptual devices of the methodology of scientific research programs (MSRP), have prompted several scholars interested in the methodology of economics (although from different points of view and for even more different purposes) to search for a reasonable way out.