Economic Methodology: understanding economics as a science Chapter 1-3 of Boumans and Davis (2015)

Most authors discussed in Chapter 1-3 of Boumans and Davis (2015) believed a demarcation criterion can be found that would allow a meaningful distinction between science and non-science (nonsense to some). Related to their adopted criterion, they also developed implicit or explicit methodological rules that science would have to follow to ensure growth of scientific knowledge. For this first assignment, I am asking you to briefly discuss: The logical positivist (Ch1), at least one approach discussed in Ch2 that arguably advocates some sort of demarcation criterion (such as Haavelmos, Friedmans or Samuelsons) and the Popperian (Ch3) view on demarcation and (mainly) growth of knowledge. A critical evaluation of the applicability to economics of each position you discussed at point 1. Can the logical positivist, Popperian, and/or the Ch2 position you discussed be meaningfully applied to economics? Why (not)? A closing argument as to whether growth in economic knowledge is possible and if so, how it would be best achieved and assessed. At this point it is not enough to simply state that you agree with this or that approach. You also need to argue why it is better than competing approaches and show that you are well aware of the relative advantages and disadvantages of using it (in terms of e.g. certainty, universality and realism of knowledge and its premises). Your assignment should contain no more than 650 words (excluding things like your name, student number, the name of the course and references). Please specify the amount of words you have used below your text. Exceeding the word limit by 10% or less will not be penalized. If your word count is between 715 and 800, one full point will be subtracted. If you write more than 800 words, the assignment will not be graded. In case of serious plagiarism, the assignment will not be graded either and you will be referred to the Examinations Board.

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