EconPapers    
Economics at your fingertips  
 

Are rival theories of smoking underdetermined?

Robert Goldfarb (), Thomas Leonard () and Steven Suranovic ()

Journal of Economic Methodology, 2001, vol. 8, issue 2, 229-251

Abstract: Some empirically minded philosophers of science argue that the evidence should choose the best theory from among theoretical rivals. However, the evidence may not speak clearly, a problem of 'underdetermination of theory by data'. We examine this problem in a concrete setting, rival theories of smoking behaviour. We investigate whether several uncontested pieces of empirical evidence allow us to choose between two competing theoretical perspectives on smoking, rational choice and non-rational choice, respectively. Next, we develop a more refined taxonomy of smoking theories, and consider the consequences for theory testing. Finally, we examine some normative aspects of theory choice involving the appropriate scope of government action.

Keywords: Underdetermination Of Theory By Data; Empirical Testing; Theory Choice; Rational Choice Theory; Smoking; Paternalism (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2001
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (2) Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link)
http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/13501780110047291 (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:8:y:2001:i:2:p:229-251

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

DOI: 10.1080/13501780110047291

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 2020-02-07
Handle: RePEc:taf:jecmet:v:8:y:2001:i:2:p:229-251