Volume 2, 2010
Schutzian Methodology as a Progressive Research Agenda Commentary on Lester Embree’s “Economics in the Context of Alfred Schütz’s Theory of Science”
This article discusses two central methodological postulates (adequacy and subjective meaning) pertaining to the social sciences brought forward by Alfred Schütz, and as presented by Lester Embree’s ‘Economics in the Context of Alfred Schütz’s Theory of Science’. The relationship between the postulates and the actual practice of economics is discussed. The author shows how Schütz’s writings describe a spectrum of methods that ranges from low abstraction and an attempt to understand individual plans and purposes on the one hand to highly abstract and aggregate modeling on the other. It is argued that the distribution of economic contributions is heavily skewed toward the latter. The second part of the article presents recent work by economists who have resisted this trend, and who have begun to expand our understanding of economic processes by taking seriously the notion of economics as a social science.