This paper addresses objectivity in economics. It criticizes a closed science, ‘view from nowhere’ conception of economics and defends an open science, ‘view from somewhere’ conception of objective science. It ascribes the first conception to mainstream economics, associates it with its principle practices – reductionist modeling, formalization, limited interdisciplinarity, and value neutrality – and argues their foundation is the Homo economicus individual conception. Two problematic consequences of adopting this stance are: (i) value blindness regarding the range and complexity of human values; (ii) fatalism regarding human behavior associated with employing a tenseless representation of time. The paper contrasts the principle practices of an open science, view from science conception – complexity modeling, mixed methods, strong relationships to other disciplines, and value diversity – and argues their foundation is a socially and historically embedded economics individual conception that avoids the value blindness and fatalism problems.
Davis, John B., "(WP 2023-01) Objectivity in Economics and the Problem of the Individual" (2023). Economics Working Papers. 89.