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Keynes: Epistemology, Method, Economics
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Keynes: Epistemology, Method, Economics

17 pp. · 3.88 EUR
( June 20, 2016 )

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Although "... it is now conventional to read the General Theory bearing in mind that it was written by the author of A Treatise on Probability ...", as Dow has recently argued, the "convention" is relatively young. Only in the Eighties did some pioneering studies of the so-called Keynes-philosophy literature, emphasize the relevance of the Treatise on Probability to understand the epistemological and methodological foundations of Keynes's economic writings. This obviously means that there has been no methodological revolution in economics stemming from the novelty of Keynes's approach in the golden years of Keynesianism. A missed opportunity, for the possibility to build awareness of Keynes's attempted revolution in economic methodology came only at the apogee of monetarist/new classical anti-Keynesianism in both economic theory and policy.

In what follows, we emphasize the novelty of Keynes's conception of economics. We first explore the epistemology of A Treatise on Probability, and focus on the importance of probability as a "guide for life" for the subsequent development of Keynes's economic methodology. We then try to contribute to a better appreciation of Keynes's "method" as, primarily, a peculiar way of reasoning in a "moral" science like economics, a non-demonstrative logic that requires economists to avoid logical fallacies in reasoning. Finally, we analyse The General Theory as the most powerful illustration of Keynes's revolutionary conception of the economist's work.

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Wissen! Welches Wissen?
Katrin Hirte, Sebastian Thieme, Walter Otto Ötsch:
Wissen! Welches Wissen?
the authors
Prof. Anna Carabelli

Dipartimento di Studi per l’Economia e l’Impresa, Università del Piemonte Orientale “Amedeo Avogadro” – Alessandria, Novara, Vercelli. Professorin für Wirtschaftswissenschaften an der Studienabteilung für die Wirtschaft und das Unternehmen der University of Eastern Piemont (Alessandria, Novara, Vercelli).

Mario A. Cedrini

Università del Piemonte Orientale »Amedeo Avogadro« – Alessandria, Novara, Vercelli, Department of Economics and Quantitative Methods (SEMeQ), Via Perrone 18, 28100 Novara, ITALY