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A positivist criticism of positivist growth theory

Céspedes, Esteban (2021) A positivist criticism of positivist growth theory. [Preprint]

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Abstract

The notion of growth is one of the most studied notions within economic theory and, traditionally, it is accounted for on the basis of a positivist thesis according to which assumptions are not relevant, as long as economic models have acceptable predictive power. Following this view, it does not matter whether assumptions are realistic or not. Arguments against this principle may involve a defense of the realistic assumptions over highly idealized or false ones. This article aims in a different direction. Instead of demanding more realism, we can accept the spirit of the mentioned thesis, but, instead, criticize the circularity that may arise by combining different assumptions that are necessary for the explanation of economic growth in mainstream economics. Such a circularity is a key aspect of the well-known problem of providing microfoundations for macroeconomic properties. It is here suggested that the notion of emergence could be appropriate to arrive at a better understanding of growth, clarifying the issues related to circularity, but without totally rejecting the usefulness of unrealistic assumptions.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Céspedes, Esteban0000-0002-5329-5434
Keywords: growth, positive economics, context-dependence, emergence
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Complex Systems
Specific Sciences > Economics
General Issues > Explanation
General Issues > Reductionism/Holism
General Issues > Science and Society
Specific Sciences > Sociology
Depositing User: Mr. Esteban Céspedes
Date Deposited: 21 Sep 2021 02:59
Last Modified: 21 Sep 2021 02:59
Item ID: 19595
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Complex Systems
Specific Sciences > Economics
General Issues > Explanation
General Issues > Reductionism/Holism
General Issues > Science and Society
Specific Sciences > Sociology
Date: 19 September 2021
URI: https://philsci-archive-dev.library.pitt.edu/id/eprint/19595

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