By Uskali Mäki
Uskali Mäki (ed.)
Milton Friedman's 1953 essay 'The method of confident economics' continues to be the main mentioned, influential, and arguable piece of methodological writing in twentieth-century economics. because its visual appeal, the essay has formed a twin of economics as a systematic self-discipline, either inside of and out of doors of the academy. even as, there was an ongoing controversy over the right kind interpretation and normative overview of the essay. Perceptions were sharply divided, with a few viewing economics as a systematic luck because of its adherence to Friedman's rules, others taking it as a failure for a similar cause. during this booklet, a group of world-renowned specialists within the method of economics solid new mild on Friedman's methodological arguments and practices from a number of views. It offers the twenty first century reader with a useful evaluation of the influence and modern importance of Friedman's seminal work.
"These papers should not simply an integral precis of prior scholarship but in addition an invaluable consultant for destiny students aiming to increase this dialog into the twenty first century. hugely recommended." - selection
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Extra resources for The Methodology of Positive Economics: Reflections on the Milton Friedman Legacy
Esp. Sec. II, for detailed criticisms of questionnaire methods. I do not mean to imply that questionnaire studies of businessmen's or others' motives or beliefs about the forces affecting their behavior are useless for all purposes in economics. They may be extremely valuable in suggesting leads to follow in accounting for divergencies between predicted and observed results; that is, in constructing new hypotheses or revising old ones. Whatever their suggestive value in this respect, they seem to me almost entirely useless as a means of testing the validity of economic hypotheses.
12 The reason is simple. A hypothesis is important if it "explains" much by little, that is, if it abstracts the common and crucial elements from the mass of complex and detailed circumstances surrounding the phenomena to be explained and permits valid predictions on the basis of them alone. To be important, therefore, a hypothesis must be descriptively false in its assumptions; it 12. The converse of the proposition does not of course hold: assumptions that are unrealistic (in this sense) do not guarantee a significant theory.
A hypothesis is important if it "explains" much by little, that is, if it abstracts the common and crucial elements from the mass of complex and detailed circumstances surrounding the phenomena to be explained and permits valid predictions on the basis of them alone. To be important, therefore, a hypothesis must be descriptively false in its assumptions; it 12. The converse of the proposition does not of course hold: assumptions that are unrealistic (in this sense) do not guarantee a significant theory.
The Methodology of Positive Economics: Reflections on the Milton Friedman Legacy by Uskali Mäki