The Review of Austrian Economics, 17:4, 453–455, 2004. c 2004 Kluwer Academic Publishers. Manufactured in The Netherlands. Review Allen Oakley (2002) Reconstructing Economic Theory: The Problem of Human Agency. Cheltenham, UK and Northampton, MA, USA: Edward Elgar. 234+xi, ISBN: 1 84064 133 9. Allen Oakley’s book is intended as a contribution to the recent ‘ontological turn’ in the methodology of economics (Lewis 2005). Oakley focuses on the ontological commitments of economic theories, that is, on what they presuppose about the nature of the socio-economic world in general and about the nature of human agency in particular. This emphasis on ontological issues reﬂects the fact that Oakley’s preferred methodology of economics is realist in orientation, being grounded in the claim that the analysis of socio-economic affairs is most likely to be fruitful if it is based on analytical tools which are tailored to suit the nature of the socio-economic material under investigation. Oakley argues in chapter 1 of the book that mainstream economics’ a priori methodolog- ical commitment to formal modelling precludes a satisfactory understanding of economic phenomena. Oakley shares with contemporary Austrians such as Boettke (1996) the view the analytical framework provided by formal modelling constitutes a Procrustean bed
The Review of Austrian Economics – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 27, 2004
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