Varieties of scientific system



Title Varieties of scientific system: from veblen to the postmoderns
Author(s) Robin Neill
Journal Journal of Economic Issues
Date 2006
Volume 40
Issue 3
Start page 673
End page 691
Abstract The question addressed is, have we achieved what Veblen called "evolutionary social science", that is, a systematic account of socioeconomic change? Taking account of different meanings of "systematic" and observing some of scientific systems that have held place in the history of Economics, the author concludes the following. The term "evolutionary science" is an oxymoron, and Veblen was not a systematic social scientist in any firm, objective sense. But then, until the end of the twentieth century neither was anyone else. It is impossible to reduce to a logically consistent model a process that is infused with radical change. Given the creative intuition that Veblen ascribed to the human agent, reason and logic are infused with morality and emotion. Social science and ethics are distinguished by their subject matter and their way of addressing it, not by one being fiction and the other truth. Both are fictive.
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