Study Questions: Introduction to Economics and Philosophy of Science
(Note: I don't expect to spend much time discussing this reading in detail, but I wanted to offer you a study guide. We'll be referring to crucial distinctions and summary points in this reading later in the semester.)
Philosophy of science:
- What is the difference between realism and instrumentalism? What are the main arguments for each?
- What is the deductive-nomological (D-N) model of explanation? Why is it appealing? What are the main objections?
- What is a scientific law, a scientific model, and a scientific theory? How are these related?
- How can we judge whether theories are true or false? Can theories be proven true? Can theories be proven false?
- What are paradigms and research programmes? How should they be assessed? How are they different from theories?
- In what ways are the social sciences different from the natural sciences? Can these differences be overcome?
- What was Adam Smith's crucial step that made possible a "science" of economics?
- What are the main differences between classical and neo-classical economics?
- What's different about Marxian economics, institutional economics, and behavioral economics?