The Evolution of Social Science Methodology: From Popper’s Historicism to Public Choice

By Jose Juan Bautista.

Published by The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Civic and Political Studies

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: April 29, 2015 $US5.00

Ever since the union of political science and economics, the analytical tools of the latter discipline have contributed to the scientific nature of social choice theory. Greatly ignored by the evolution of the scientific approaches used to analyze the behavior of the state was Karl Popper's disdain for the use of scientific methods by social scientists to create what he termed a theoretical history. In "The Poverty of Historicism" (1957), Popper was relentless in his criticism of social scientists' use of analytical methods but was more tolerant of the existence of economists' use of the same quantitative tools. In wake of the growth of interdisciplinary models in the social sciences and economics, this paper revisits Popper's views on the social science methodology and attempts to reconcile the criticism leveled by Popper with the self imposed parameters in model building developed by contemporary economists.

Keywords: Popper, Economics, Methodology, Historicism, Social Science as a Disciplinary Practice*

The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Civic and Political Studies, Volume 10, Issue 3, September 2015, pp.35-42. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: April 29, 2015 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 420.326KB)).

Dr. Jose Juan Bautista

Professor of Economics, Division of Business, Xavier University of Louisiana, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA