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The limits of causal order, from economics to physics

In Uskali Mäki (ed.), Fact and Fiction in Economics: Models, Realism and Social Construction. Cambridge: pp. 137-151 (2002)

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  1. What is the Problem with Model-Based Explanation in Economics?Caterina Marchionni - 2017 - Disputatio 9 (47):603-630.
    The question of whether the idealized models of theoretical economics are explanatory has been the subject of intense philosophical debate. It is sometimes presupposed that either a model provides the actual explanation or it does not provide an explanation at all. Yet, two sets of issues are relevant to the evaluation of model-based explanation: what conditions should a model satisfy in order to count as explanatory and does the model satisfy those conditions. My aim in this paper is to unpack (...)
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  • Initial Conditions and the 'Open Systems' Argument Against Laws of Nature.Clint Ballinger - 2008 - Metaphysica 9 (1):17-31.
    This article attacks “open systems” arguments that because constant conjunctions are not generally observed in the real world of open systems we should be highly skeptical that universal laws exist. This work differs from other critiques of open system arguments against laws of nature by not focusing on laws themselves, but rather on the inference from open systems. We argue that open system arguments fail for two related reasons; 1) because they cannot account for the “systems” central to their argument (...)
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  • Initial Conditions as Exogenous Factors in Spatial Explanation.Clint Ballinger - 2008 - Dissertation, University of Cambridge
    This dissertation shows how initial conditions play a special role in the explanation of contingent and irregular outcomes, including, in the form of geographic context, the special case of uneven development in the social sciences. The dissertation develops a general theory of this role, recognizes its empirical limitations in the social sciences, and considers how it might be applied to the question of uneven development. The primary purpose of the dissertation is to identify and correct theoretical problems in the study (...)
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  • Models in Economics Are Not (Always) Nomological Machines.Cyril Hédoin - 2014 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 44 (4):424-459.
    This paper evaluates Nancy Cartwright’s critique of economic models. Cartwright argues that economics fails to build relevant “nomological machines” able to isolate capacities. In this paper, I contend that many economic models are not used as nomological machines. I give some evidence for this claim and build on an inferential and pragmatic approach to economic modeling. Modeling in economics responds to peculiar inferential norms where a “good” model is essentially a model that enhances our knowledge about possible worlds. As a (...)
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  • Aspectos ontológicos y epistémicos de los procesos económicos basados en expectativas. Hacia una ampliación de la agenda en la filosofía de la economía moderna.Leonardo Ivarola - 2015 - Eidos: Revista de Filosofía de la Universidad Del Norte 23:68-92.
    La filosofía estándar de la economía presupone que en el dominio de los fenómenos económicos subyacen regularidades estables, las cuales pueden explicarse mediante el funcionamiento de mecanismos o de máquinas socioeconómicas. Asimismo, se considera que una vez puestos en funcionamiento, su comportamiento no necesita de subsecuentes intervenciones. Esto implica asumir que los procesos socioeconómicos tienen una naturaleza semejante a los de las ciencias naturales. No obstante, dichas regularidades son por lo general examinadas a la luz de algún modelo económico, por (...)
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  • Representation and Stability in Testing and Measuring Rational Expectations.Marcel Boumans - 1999 - Journal of Economic Methodology 6 (3):381-402.
    There are at least two elements of theory completion necessary for measurement: (1) a measurement formula and (2) standardization of that representation. Standardization is based on the search for stability. The more stable the correlation which the measurement formula represents is, the less influence other circumstances have. Then, the interconnection between testing, mathematical representation and standardization is of a hierarchical order. By testing a model one tries to find out to what extent the model covers the data of the phenomenon, (...)
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