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Methodology Doesn't Matter, but the History of Thought Might

E. Roy Weintraub
The Scandinavian Journal of Economics
Vol. 91, No. 2, 90th Anniversary Symposium: Whither Macroeconomics? (Jun., 1989), pp. 477-493
Published by: Wiley on behalf of Scandinavian Journal of Economics
DOI: 10.2307/3440125
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3440125
Page Count: 17
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Methodology Doesn't Matter, but the History of Thought Might
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Abstract

Methodological discourse is concerned to develop, and utilize, methods of evaluation of work in economics. Methodology as a program is concerned to affect practice by criticizing practice from a position apart from practice. This paper reminds economists that no such position apart from practice is ever available, and so Methodology, as opposed to methodological discourse, cannot succeed. And what cannot succeed cannot have consequences. Anti-Methodology or pragmatism, or in economics what is now termed "Rhetoric", cannot have consequences either for the same reasons. The paper goes on to argue that what might have consequences for practice is the History of Economic Thought, broadly understood as a critical self-consciousness.

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