Cultivating Constructive Discourse Over Economics and Public Policy
4 Pages Posted: 31 Jul 2011
Date Written: 2010
This paper addresses the demand for a pluralistic methodological approach to the science of economics. In responding to Robert Garnett’s artful criticism of an earlier statement of mine, I agree with him that understanding one’s intellectual opponent’s framework leads to greater scientific advancement than simply dismissing it entirely. Being able to see and appreciate the perspectives of others is an important scholarly virtue to cultivate. Competition amongst and challenges of competing ideas is what spurs innovation in economic science. So, strongly held positions are to be expected and, in fact, encouraged, but as Garnett persuasively argues, the process of scientific progress is more likely to lead to advancement if the process is Smithian rather than the Mandevillean approach my earlier statement seemed to imply.
Keywords: Pluralism, Economic Methodology
JEL Classification: B41, B53
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation