• Table of Contents
    • Abstract
    • Keywords
    • Article
      • What exists?
      • What is existence?
        • Irreducible existence
        • Independent existence
        • Science-independence
      • Social construction
      • Model worlds
      • Truth
      • Possible existence and possible truth
      • The bite of ontology
    • See Also
    • Bibliography
    • How to cite this article

scientific realism and ontology

Uskali Mäki
From The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics, Second Edition, 2008
Edited by Steven N. Durlauf and Lawrence E. Blume
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This article defines the concept of realism and explores its implications for ontology, defending the idea of ontological realism and its relevance to economics, while rejecting the idea of some special ‘realist ontology’ that informs us about the ways of the real world. The main focus is on what it is for the world (its constituents, structure, and ways of functioning) to exist. Economics-relevant scientific realism suggests that much of the social world is characterized by non-causal science-independence. Implications of this are outlined for causation, social construction, economics-dependence of the economy, modelling, and truth in economics.
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How to cite this article

Mäki, Uskali. "scientific realism and ontology." The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics. Second Edition. Eds. Steven N. Durlauf and Lawrence E. Blume. Palgrave Macmillan, 2008. The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics Online. Palgrave Macmillan. 11 December 2017 <http://www.dictionaryofeconomics.com/article?id=pde2008_R000248> doi:10.1057/9780230226203.1492

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