Title: Ideology and pluralism in economics: a German view

Authors: Arne Heise

Addresses: Department of Socioeconomics, Universität Hamburg, VMP 9, 20146 Hamburg, Germany

Abstract: As a social science, economics studies social interactions. What ostensibly distinguishes it from the other social sciences is, firstly, its focus on interactions involving the management of scarce resources and the social provising process and, secondly, its conception of itself as generating traceable, verifiable findings that are free of normative judgements but instead yield 'objective knowledge'. Some regard this methodological foundation of positivist fallibilism as the feature that makes economics the 'queen of the social sciences'. Others are critical of these core assumptions, which they believe have no place in a social science. Interestingly, both critiques and defences of economics often make reference to ideology: defenders claim that economics is as free of ideological bias as possible, while critics deny economics' status as a science and instead regard it as an 'ideology that serves to uphold power relations'. This article explores the relationship between ideology and economics with special reference to German academia, asking whether a pluralist approach to economics could help make the discipline less vulnerable to the charge of being ideological.

Keywords: ideology; pluralism; monism; value freedom; methodology; ontology.

DOI: 10.1504/IJPEE.2020.111285

International Journal of Pluralism and Economics Education, 2020 Vol.11 No.2, pp.114 - 129

Received: 21 Dec 2019
Accepted: 16 Jul 2020

Published online: 04 Nov 2020 *

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