Are we witnessing a revolution in methodology of economics?

About Don Ross's recent book on microexplanation


  • Maurice Lagueux Université de Montréal, Canada



methodology, intentional, stance, consciousness, selfhood, individualism, rationality


The paper aims to assess whether the ideas developed by Don Ross in his recent book Economic theory and cognitive science: microexplanation, which relates neoclassical economics to recent developments in cognitive science, might revolutionize the methodology of economics. Since Ross challenges a conception of economics associated with what is pejoratively called 'Folk psychology', the paper discusses ideas of the philosopher Daniel Dennett on which this challenge is largely based. This discussion could not avoid bearing on questions such as the nature of consciousness, the interpretation of ontological realism, the relations between agency and selfhood, and the nature and scope of economics. The paper attempts to rehabilitate the two pieces of the traditional conception of economics that were most radically contested by Ross, namely methodological individualism and the foundational role of (human) rationality in economics. A relatively nuanced judgment on Ross's bold enterprise is proposed in conclusion.

Author Biography

Maurice Lagueux, Université de Montréal, Canada

Maurice Lagueux is currently associate professor in the Department of philosophy at Université de Montréal where he has also taught history of economic thought in the Department of economics. His research interests are economic methodology, philosophy of architecture, and philosophy of history.




How to Cite

Lagueux, M. (2008). Are we witnessing a revolution in methodology of economics? About Don Ross’s recent book on microexplanation. Erasmus Journal for Philosophy and Economics, 1(1), 24–55.