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The Methodology of Positive Economics
Reflections on the Milton Friedman Legacy

$56.99 (C)

Uskali Mäki, J. Daniel Hammond, D. Wade Hands, Melvin Reder, David Teira Serrano, Jesús Zamora Bonilla, Roger Backhouse, Oliver Williamson, Jack Vromen, Chris Starmer, Kevin D. Hoover, Michel De Vroey, Tom Mayer, Mark Blaug
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  • Date Published: May 2009
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521686860

$ 56.99 (C)

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About the Authors
  • Milton Friedman's 1953 essay 'The methodology of positive economics' remains the most cited, influential, and controversial piece of methodological writing in twentieth-century economics. Since its appearance, the essay has shaped the image of economics as a scientific discipline, both within and outside of the academy. At the same time, there has been an ongoing controversy over the proper interpretation and normative evaluation of the essay. Perceptions have been sharply divided, with some viewing economics as a scientific success thanks to its adherence to Friedman's principles, others taking it as a failure for the same reason. In this book, a team of world-renowned experts in the methodology of economics cast new light on Friedman's methodological arguments and practices from a variety of perspectives. It provides the 21st century reader with an invaluable assessment of the impact and contemporary significance of Friedman's seminal work.

    • First book-length analysis of one of the most important essays in the history of economic methodology
    • Chapters written from a variety of different perspectives allowing readers to form their own opinion about the significance and impact of the work
    • Written by a team of world-renowned experts on the methodology of economics
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    Reviews & endorsements

    "These papers are not only an indispensable summary of past scholarship but also a useful guide for future scholars aiming to extend this conversation into the 21st century. Highly recommended." - Choice

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    Product details

    • Date Published: May 2009
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521686860
    • length: 382 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 19 mm
    • weight: 0.61kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    List of figures
    List of tables
    List of contributors
    Part I. The Classical Essay in 20th Century Economic Methodology: The methodology of positive economics (1953) Milton Friedman
    Part II. Reading and Writing a Classic:
    1. Reading the methodological essay in twentieth century economics: map of multiple perspectives Uskali Mäki
    2. Early drafts of Friedman's methodology essay J. Daniel Hammond
    3. Unrealistic assumptions and unnecessary confusions: rereading and rewriting F53 as a realist statement Uskali Mäki
    Part III. Models, Assumptions, Predictions, Evidence:
    4. The influence of Friedman's methodological essay on economics Tom Mayer
    5. Did Milton Friedman's methodology license the formalist revolution? D. Wade Hands
    6. Appraisal of evidence in economic methodology Melvin Reder
    7. The politics of positivism: disinterested predictions from interested agents David Teira Serrano and Jesús Zamora Bonilla
    Part IV. Theoretical Context: Firm, Money, Expected Utility, Walras and Marshall:
    8. Friedman's 1953 essay and the marginalist controversy Roger Backhouse
    9. Friedman (1953) in relation to theories of the firm Oliver Williamson
    10. Friedman's selection argument revisited Jack Vromen
    11. Expected utility and Friedman's risky methodology Chris Starmer
    12. Friedman's methodological stance: causal realism Kevin D. Hoover
    13. On the right side for the wrong reason: Friedman on the Marshall-Walras divide Michel De Vroey
    Part V. Concluding Perspectives:
    14. The debate over F53 after 50 years Mark Blaug
    15. Final word Milton Friedman

  • Editor

    Uskali Mäki, Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam
    Uskali Mäki is Academy Professor at the Academy of Finland. He has written extensively on the philosophy and methodology of economics and is editor of a number of books, including The Economic World View (Cambridge University Press, 2001), Fact and Fiction in Economics (Cambridge University Press, 2002), and Handbook of the Philosophy of Economics (2008).


    Uskali Mäki, J. Daniel Hammond, D. Wade Hands, Melvin Reder, David Teira Serrano, Jesús Zamora Bonilla, Roger Backhouse, Oliver Williamson, Jack Vromen, Chris Starmer, Kevin D. Hoover, Michel De Vroey, Tom Mayer, Mark Blaug

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