Critical Realism’s Critique of Methodological Individualism in Neoclassical Economics

Persian Journal for the Methodology of Social Sciences and Humanities:1-24 (forthcoming)
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Abstract

The critique of philosophical foundations of neoclassical economics is significant, because of its hegemony on economic education and research programs in Iran and worldwide academies. Due to an epistemological fallacy, methodological individualism plays a prominent role in the philosophy of economic; since the ontological aspects of economy are reduced to methodological considerations. Accordingly, critique of methodological individualism is regarded as the main entry for philosophical analysis of neoclassical economics. This article aims to analyze and appraise the methodological individualism from critical realism’s point of view. Critical realism is taken as a stand for criticizing methodological individualism, because critical realism and neoclassical economics as a positive approach to economics, both share a realistic worldview. The critical realism’ critique of methodological individualism is bases on analyzing the concepts of formalism, syllogism, social atomism, isolation and reduction. From critical realism’ point of view because of unrealistic postulations of methodological individualism, neoclassical economics is turned to an abstract and deductive science such as mathematics with a low potentiality of explanation.

Author's Profile

S. Mohammad Reza Amiri Tehrani
Institute for Humanities and Cultural Studies

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