Honors Capstone Project
Date of Submission
Capstone Prize Winner
Won Capstone Funding
Economics | Economic Theory | Growth and Development | Other Economics
This paper seeks to (1) offer a conceptual overview of the methodology of science research programs (MSRP) of Imre Lakatos; (2) apply the framework of that methodology to the neoclassical theory of Gary S. Becker; and (3) explore a quantitative-driven, atheoretical alternative, which challenges the view that there can be or should be any body of theoretical economics. The MSRP framework is used in an instrumental manner in the pursuit of a lucid and interesting historical analysis. The pros and cons of Becker’s approach are presented in the tradition of instrumentalism, and in light of recent discussion of economics imperialism. It is argued that some theory is indispensable, and that the MSRP framework is adequate as a critical and historical tool, which elucidates how ecnomic theory can be both precise and positive, and rich and flexible.
Turner, Bradley R., "Homo Economicus: Alive and Diversified in the Economic Research Program" (2010). Syracuse University Honors Program Capstone Projects. 399.
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