12 How to be critical and realist about economics1
Jaakko Kuorikoski and Petri Ylikoski
Scientific realists take science seriously. First, they take the epistemic aims of science seriously. For realists, the main epistemic goal of science is to understand the world and how it works. While instrumentalists put the emphasis on prediction and practical applicability, realists think that this is not enough. Science should also aim to explain things. Second, realists take science seriously by setting high standards for the ultimate evaluation of scientific claims. While social constructivists and other non-realists might be satisfied with the consensus of the relevant community, realists think that scientists should be more ambitious: ...