Cultivating Constructive Discourse Over Economics and Public Policy

4 Pages Posted: 31 Jul 2011

See all articles by Peter J. Boettke

Peter J. Boettke

George Mason University - Department of Economics

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

Boettke, Peter J., Cultivating Constructive Discourse Over Economics and Public Policy (2010). Review of Austrian Economics, Vol. 24, pp. 67-70, 2011. Available at SSRN:

Peter J. Boettke (Contact Author)

George Mason University - Department of Economics ( email )

4400 University Drive
Fairfax, VA 22030
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