Explaining Technical Change – A Case Study in the Philosophy of Science

Jon Elster
Niveau: avancé
Éditeur: CUP Archive
Perspective: Other
Sujet: Capitalisme, l'histoire économique, histoire de la pensée économique, Innovation, Philosophie de l'économie
nombre de pages: 273 pages

texte de présentation

Technical change, defined as the manufacture and modification of tools, is generally thought to have played an important role in the evolution of intelligent life on earth, comparable to that of language. In this volume, first published in 1983, Jon Elster approaches the study of technical change from an epistemological perspective. He first sets out the main methods of scientific explanation and then applies those methods to some of the central theories of technical change. In particular, Elster considers neoclassical, evolutionary, and Marxist theories, whilst also devoting a chapter to Joseph Schumpeter's influential theory.

Résumé du livre

Technical change is one of the most relevant economic phenomena and occupies an eminent role in both orthodox and heterodox economic thought. In this book, Jon Elster gives an overview of the most prominent theories to explain technical change, namely neoclassical, Schumpeterian, evolutionary and Marxist theories and dissects their specific explanation attempt from the perspective of the philosophy of science. Through this perspective, the reader is able appreciate the specific type of causal explanation that is put forward - and can therefore gauge its relative strengths and weaknesses.

Commentaire de nos éditeurs:

Irrespective of its age, Jon Elster's forgotten classic is a great and accessible attempt to formalize and unify the different theories of technical change and a must-read for anybody interested in these kinds of phenomena. Being one of the founding fathers of Analytical Marxism, Elster is very explicit in his reconstruction of the premises of the theories he discusses. This renders the book also a great reference book to be read alongside the often opaque and convoluted canonical texts on technical change.

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Ce projet le fruit du travail des membres du réseau international pour le pluralisme en économie, dans la sphère germanophone (Netzwerk Plurale Ökonomik e.V.) et dans la sphère francophone (Rethinking Economics Switzerland / Rethinking Economics Belgium / PEPS-Économie France). Nous sommes fortement attachés à notre indépendance et à notre diversité et vos dons permettent de le rester !