Abstract

https://ssrn.com/abstract=2602906
 


 



What Is Old Should Be New Again: Methodological Individualism, Institutional Analysis and Spontaneous Order


Peter J. Boettke


George Mason University - Department of Economics

Rosolino A. Candela


George Mason University

May 5, 2015

Boettke, Peter J., and Rosolino A. Candela. 2015. "What Is Old Should Be New Again: Methodological Individualism, Institutional Analysis and Spontaneous Order." Sociologia 2: 5-14

Abstract:     
In this paper we revisit the case for methodological individualism for the positive analysis of political economy. We argue that the basis of methodological individualism implies neither a necessary commitment to atomistic reductionism in explaining social phenomena nor philosophical individualism resulting in a laissez-faire policy. The point of engaging in spontaneous order analysis on methodologically individualist grounds is not to make precise predictions per se, but instead to render the purposive actions of individuals and the meaning of such actions intelligible. Once individuals can be understood as purposive actors whose social interactions generate patterns of institutions, such as language, money and law, which coordinate their self-interest, then the mystery of how self-interest coincides with social cooperation under the division of labor, i.e. Paris getting fed, can be understood through the consistent and persistent application of the economic way of thinking.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 20

Keywords: Methodological Individualism, Rational Choice, Spontaneous Order

JEL Classification: A12, B52, B53


Open PDF in Browser Download This Paper

Date posted: May 5, 2015 ; Last revised: May 11, 2016

Suggested Citation

Boettke, Peter J. and Candela, Rosolino A., What Is Old Should Be New Again: Methodological Individualism, Institutional Analysis and Spontaneous Order (May 5, 2015). Boettke, Peter J., and Rosolino A. Candela. 2015. "What Is Old Should Be New Again: Methodological Individualism, Institutional Analysis and Spontaneous Order." Sociologia 2: 5-14. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2602906 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2602906

Contact Information

Peter J. Boettke
George Mason University - Department of Economics ( email )
4400 University Drive
Fairfax, VA 22030
United States
703-993-1149 (Phone)
703-993-1133 (Fax)
Rosolino A. Candela (Contact Author)
George Mason University ( email )
4400 University Drive
Fairfax, VA 22030
United States
Feedback to SSRN


Paper statistics
Abstract Views: 1,480
Downloads: 277
Download Rank: 86,138