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Disciplinary Division within Social Sciences: Methodological Issues in Economic Imperialism and Economic Pluralism

Fernando Chafim ()
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Fernando Chafim: Institute of Economics, University of Campinas

History of Economic Ideas, 2016, vol. 24, issue 3, 145-164

Abstract: This paper attempts to shed light on the problematic nature of the ongoing disciplinary division within social sciences. Disciplinary barriers between social disciplines are nonetheless repeatedly challenged by attempts to cross boundaries and hybridization processes. In economics, we can detect two distinct methodological practices – an imperialistic one and a pluralistic one. The former aims at interdisciplinarity in a limited range of hybridization. The latter supports more possibilities, feasible with the evolution of disciplines, but it remains largely mono-disciplinary. In this respect the aims of this paper are twofold: (1) to show that, unlike natural sciences, there are no ontological reasons for disciplinary divisions in the social sciences; and (2) to outline some implications of all this, by contrasting the pluralism project in heterodox economics and the parochial methodology of economic imperialism.

Date: 2016
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Handle: RePEc:hid:journl:v:24:y:2016:3:7:p:145-164