Aggregates and Methodological Individualism: A Relational Approach
Alexander William Salter
George Mason University
September 1, 2011
New Perspectives on Political Economy, Forthcoming
Methodological individualism, coupled with radical subjectivity, leads naturally to skepticism regarding the objective theoretical value of economic aggregates. I restate the role of aggregates in the methodological individualist paradigm, focusing on the Austrian tradition, in a way consistent with Hodgson’s (2007) critique and emphasize belief and meaning as the relevant channel through which these aggregates operate. Viewing aggregates this way leads to a relational approach which is consistent with formulations made by scholars working within in the methodological individualist paradigm and answers Hodgson’s call for recognition of the importance of interactive relations between individuals.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 32
Keywords: methodological individualism, aggregation, subjectivism, belief, meaning, Austrian economics
JEL Classification: B4, B53Accepted Paper Series
Date posted: September 7, 2012 ; Last revised: January 20, 2014
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