Economics at your fingertips  

Is Gerard Debreu a Deductivist? Commentary on Tony Lawson's Economics and Reality

Alex Viskovatoff

Review of Social Economy, 1998, vol. 56, issue 3, 335-346

Abstract: Tony Lawson has argued that the methodology of neoclassical economics is deductivist: in constructing their formal models, economists hope to be able to provide explanations based on laws, as described by the deductive-nomological model of explanation. This article argues in contrast that neoclassical economics cannot be understood as following just one methodology. It is argued that neoclassicism exhibits two methodologies, one “official” and one tacit. The former is empiricist, and corresponds to the practice that has been described by Lawson. The latter, which can be called “hypothetico-deductive rationalism”, amounts to the position that knowledge of the world can be obtained without any empirical verification of one's assumptions, simply by exploring the implications of the assumptions one makes.

Keywords: Deductivism; formalism; rationalism; models; economic theory (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 1998
References: Add references at CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (3) Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link) (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:

Ordering information: This journal article can be ordered from

DOI: 10.1080/00346769800000033

Access Statistics for this article

Review of Social Economy is currently edited by Wilfred Dolfsma and John Davis

More articles in Review of Social Economy from Taylor & Francis Journals
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Chris Longhurst ().

Page updated 2020-09-04
Handle: RePEc:taf:rsocec:v:56:y:1998:i:3:p:335-346