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Critical Realism by Alan Norrie, Tony Lawson, Andrew Collier, Roy Bhaskar, Margaret Archer

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6

ECONOMIC SCIENCE WITHOUT EXPERIMENTATION

Tony Lawson

The question I now must confront is how social scientific research can proceed in the absence of real possibilities of experimental control. How can the scientific enterprise even get under way without event regularities to account for? And how are competing theories to be assessed when the social sciences are generally denied the crucial test situation? Despite the lack of opportunities for controlled experimentation in the social sciences I remain optimistic about the social scientific prospects. In setting a context for developing my position I refer first, albeit extremely briefly, to relevant assessments of Bhaskar (1979) and Collier (1994). Each has questioned whether the potential ...

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