Evaluating Competing Explanatory Games in Economics

Jonas Lipski (doctoral project, completed in 2022)

My dissertation project is a contribution to the philosophy of Economics. I take Economics to be a field of research in which multiple traditions compete with one another. This poses the normative problem of which tradition ought to be preferred over the others. The basic idea of my dissertation is that the general philosophy of science provides means to solve normative problems of this kind. I thus compare different approaches within the philosophy of science and argue that a modified version of Chrysostomos Mantzavinos’s theory of explanatory games is best suited to solve the normative problems connected to Economics. I attempt to exemplify the philosophical arguments with two case studies: The Socialist Calculation Debate, in which the Austrian School and the General Equilibrium Tradition clashed, and the competition between New Institutionalism and Institution-free approaches in explaining Economic Growth.