EconPapers    
Economics at your fingertips  
 

Abstraction and unrealistic assumptions in economics

Steven Rappaport

Journal of Economic Methodology, 1996, vol. 3, issue 2, 215-236

Abstract: Economics has been persistently criticized for its heavy reliance on unrealistic assumptions. Some people reply to this criticism by saying that the unrealistic assumptions of economics result from abstraction from unimportant details, and abstraction is necessary for knowledge of a complex real world. So, far from unrealistic assumptions detracting from the epistemic worth of economics, such assumptions are essential for economic knowledge. I call this line of argument 'the Abstractionist Defense'. After clarifying abstraction, unrealistic assumptions and kindred notions, I show that the Abstractionist Defense does not successfully rebut the position of those who criticize economics for its unrealistic assumptions.

Keywords: abstraction; idealizations; unrealistic assumptions; the Direct Method of testing; the Indirect Method of testing; the Abstractionist Defense (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 1996
References: View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations View citations in EconPapers (1) Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link)
http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/13501789600000016 (text/html)
Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

Related works:
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:taf:jecmet:v:3:y:1996:i:2:p:215-236

Ordering information: This journal article can be ordered from
http://www.tandfonline.com/pricing/journal/RJEC20

Access Statistics for this article

Journal of Economic Methodology is currently edited by John Davis and D Wade Hands

More articles in Journal of Economic Methodology from Taylor & Francis Journals
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Chris Longhurst ().

 
Page updated 2018-04-07
Handle: RePEc:taf:jecmet:v:3:y:1996:i:2:p:215-236