Hahn and Economic Methodology by Thomas Boylan, Paschal O'Gorman

By Thomas Boylan, Paschal O'Gorman

Hahn on technique: the hunt for Understanding addresses basic questions: (i) what's detailed approximately financial theorising?; (ii) what's the cognitive worth of the end result of this job of monetary theorising, i.e. fiscal conception. we are going to argue that for Hahn, financial theorising is specified with admire to 4 dimensions. to start with, the purpose of financial concept is neither to explain nor clarify the genuine fiscal international, as within the actual sciences. fairly the purpose is to accomplish goal, yet non-scientific, knowing. Secondly, the significant query for financial conception is still for Hahn find out how to comprehend, yet to not are expecting as in physics for example, how decentralised offerings engage and maybe get co-ordinated. Thirdly, Hahn identifies ‘three commitments’ with out which, he argues, monetary theorising for him isn't attainable. ultimately, fiscal theorising has a particular procedure, which Hahn calls its ‘grammar of argumentation’


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Morgenstern’s assessment of Schlesinger pointed to the fact that ‘Schlesinger’s Theorie der Geld-Â�und Kreditwirtschaft (1914) 18╇╇ Hahn in context made him the only immediate follower of Walras, other than Wicksell, to advance Walras’s theory of money,’ and that he ‘derived an excess demand equation for money that is virtually identical with the one commonly ascribed to Keynes. He was also probably the first to develop the notion of the equilibrium rate of interest’ (Morgenstern 1968: 509).

246). e. : 246). : 246). : 246). Mathematical economics, in so far as it uses assumptions, and these assumptions are indispensable, is not furnishing us with factual descriptions of actual economies. Here we see Hahn’s challenging and intriguing methodological position emerging. ‘Economic theory at its best is a powerful aid to thought about the world, not because it provides a very satisfactory description, but because it provides clear limits to understanding’ (Hahn 1993(b): 164; italics added).

This seems close to the Popperian claim that no theory is rejected until as good a theory or a better one is available. Non-Â�mathematical economic theory simply cannot, as yet, compete with mathematical economic theory. Hahn in this same ‘Intellectual Retrospect’ does make an interesting concession to what he calls the ‘anti-Â�mathematics’ lobby. ‘But there is nonetheless a lesson which has only gradually been borne in on me which perhaps inclines me a little more favourably to the “anti-Â�mathematics” group’ (Hahn 1994: 246).

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Hahn and Economic Methodology by Thomas Boylan, Paschal O'Gorman
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