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Heterodox economics as a scientific community: problems, prospects and alternative strategies
journal contributionposted on 13.01.2021, 12:28 by Geoff Hodgson
Tony Lawson, Andrew Mearman and several others have noted that there is little consensus on the meaning of the term heterodox economics. Heterodox economists seem more united by their prevailing leftist ideology than by theoretical agreement. There are further problems impairing progress within the heterodox camp. While diversity and pluralism are desirable, insights from the philosophy and sociology of science suggest that productive and innovative communities of researchers also rely on some degree of institutionalized consensus, around positions of academic power, resources and authority. Science is a social process with a division of labour, embedded in institutionalized systems of power. While healthy science depends on innovation and diversity, some empowered consensus over basic ideas is essential to monitor quality, to maintain standards, to avoid ongoing critical discussions of potentially everything, and to establish shared principles and questions that can be appraised extensively by incentivized, interacting researchers. Some possible strategies to deal with these problems for heterodox economics are considered.
- Loughborough University London