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Ontic structural realism and economics: the unwanted gift

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Psychological content is making its way into economic modelling with promising new research programmes such as behavioural economics. But stalwarts of the ‘minimalist programme’ in economics argue that these new programmes are misguided and that economics should be kept separate from other disciplines. Economist Don Ross has recently mounted a scholarly defence of the minimalist programme inspired by a view in the philosophy of science called ontic structural realism (OSR). This paper criticizes the application of OSR to economics and argues that economics should keep its interdisciplinary doors open.

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