Philippe Mongin ()
Abstract: This essay discusses the status of normative economics by identifying several conceptions that economists have entertained in this respect. It connects these conceptions with two main philosophical strands, i.e., positivism in its many variants and Weber's philosophy of values. The paper argues that economists cannot avoid making value judgments of their own about social welfare, distributive justice, and collective rationality. This conclusion runs counter to the Weberian claim of value-neutrality that today's normative economists often implicitly endorse.
32 pages, November 1, 2006
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