History of Economics: Kuhn and Lakatos vs. Logical Positivists (Essay Sample)
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History of Economics
1. Kuhn and Lakatos vs. Logical Positivists
Kuhn argued that the secret to understanding science is to view it from its ahistorical and social point of view. This approach is contrary to the view taken by logical positivists who are interested in the present of science. For Kuhn, science does not progress inductively as the logical positivists would argue. It instead starts at a moment in history with the abandonment of one theory in history and development of a new theory. Logical positivists argued against any historical approach, claiming that scientific knowledge is the only reliable source of knowledge (Kuhn 54). Kuhn’s position emphasizes that science develops through individual discoveries and inventions, an approach that can only be understood from the historical point of view.
Just like Kuhn, Imre Lakatos had his own reservations with logical positivists. He used the thesis of research program to argue that theories and experiments build over one another to form a hardcore. This is similar to ahistorical and social perspective held by Kuhn. The only difference is that while Kuhn champions for irrational process that arises when a paradigm shifts, Lakatos champions for an irrational change that depends on the research program.
2. Classical School of Economics
The classical school of economics started in the late eighteenth century until early eighteenth century. Classical economics was influenced by Stuart Mill, Ricardo, Adam Smith, and Thomas Malthus (Cosmo Learning, n.d.). The main elements of this school of thought were in the political economy and maximization of wealth. Ricardo, for instance, championed for capitalists, landowners, and workers that received fixed wages. Mill and Malthus held similar perspectives on the theory of wages and growth. They argued for equal distribution of wealth, believing that the value of the current is related to the profits earned from past investments (Constabile & Rowthorn 419). This is the theory of wages and growth and is directly related to modern understanding of investments. People tend to invest their money in productive sectors with the goal of accruing interests.
3. Karl Popper’s Definition of Science
Popper based his definition of science on falsification principle. He argued that science should not focus on evidence to support its claims. It should, instead focus on falsifying its hypothesis using evidence. I sup
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