Tilting at imaginary windmills

A comment on Tyfield


  • Yann Giraud Duke University, United States
  • E. Roy Weintraub Duke University, United States




economics of science (ESK), sociology of scientific knowledge (SSK), science studies, meaning finitism


In the inaugural issue of this journal, David Tyfield (2008) used some recent discussions about "meaning finitism" to conclude that the sociology of scientific knowledge (SSK) is an intellectually hopeless basis on which to erect an intelligible study of science. In contrast, the authors show that Tyfield's argument rests on some profound misunderstandings of the SSK. They show that his mischaracterization of SSK is in fact systematic and is based on lines of argument that are at best incoherent.

Author Biographies

Yann Giraud, Duke University, United States

Yann Giraud is a postdoctoral fellow at the Center for the History of Political Economy, Duke University. His research focuses on the place of visual language in recent economics.

E. Roy Weintraub, Duke University, United States

E. Roy Weintraub is a professor of economics at the Economics Department, Duke University. His research has focused on the history of the interconnection of the mathematics and economics communities in the twentieth century.




How to Cite

Giraud, Y., & Weintraub, E. R. (2009). Tilting at imaginary windmills: A comment on Tyfield. Erasmus Journal for Philosophy and Economics, 2(1), 52–59. https://doi.org/10.23941/ejpe.v2i1.23