Underdetermination in Economics: The Duhem-Quine Thesis

Economics and Philosophy 13 (1):1-23 (1997)
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Abstract

This paper considers the relevance of the Duhem-Quine thesis in economics. In the introductory discussion which follows, the meaning of the thesis and a brief history of its development are detailed. The purpose of the paper is to discuss the effects of the thesis in four specific and diverse theories in economics, and to illustrate the dependence of testing the theories on a set of auxiliary hypotheses. A general taxonomy of auxiliary hypotheses is provided to demonstrate the confounding of auxiliary hypotheses with the testing of economic theory.

Author Profiles

Kim Sawyer
University of Melbourne
Howard Sankey
University of Melbourne

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