Titel: General Equilibrium Theory and the Rationality of Economics
Autor: Carsten Köllmann
Abstract: Most philosophers of economics are hostile towards neoclassical economics in general and general equilibrium theory in the vein of Arrow and Debreu in particular. Especially the latter’s dismissal is justified by pointing out its lack of direct relevance for an understanding of real economies. Many recommend a more pragmatic approach along the lines of Keynes instead. The criterion of scientific legitimacy underlying this approach derives from a philosophy of science developed along the lines of Popper and Lakatos. They, however, neglect the importance of conceptual problems and of the choice of adequate ’language-systems’ in science. Since these conceptual and ’linguistic’ aspects may be able to explain and to justify the rationale of the Arrow-Debreu approach, I recommend the more balanced philosophies of Carnap and Laudan, in which conceptual as well as empirical problems are allowed for, as a framework for methodological appraisal. I explain why such a balanced view is obstructed for most philosophers of economics and advocate a moderate pluralism leaving room for different theories, methodologies and language-systems, depending on the scientific aims that are pursued.
Work and Social Justice
2009 (31) Heft 1
Guest-Editor: Carsten Köllmann
The labour market is among the most contested fields of political argument and conflict in our time. Public criticism of increasing wage inequalities and especially of excessive management pay is, notwithstanding its popularity, only a symptom of more fundamental changes going on in the labour market and in society at large. The conditions and the very meaning of work rank high on the agenda of Western societies. Persistent mass unemployment, coupled with an increasing number of working poor, co...