Pragmatism, Technology and Scientific Inquiry:

Exploring Aspects of the Philosophical Underpinnings of Institutional Economics.

The purpose of this paper is to explore the relation between technology and scientific inquiry within the philosophical perspective of pragmatism. The main insights concerning the specific version of pragmatism dealt with here are drawn from contemporary works by scholars belonging to the research community of institutional political economy. This approach is also known as institutional economics of the ‘old’ American type. Within this intellectual legacy pragmatic thinking has been developed into a modern approach to social scientific inquiry. As Paul Dale Bush (1993: 59-6o) points out, 

“the dominant themes in the methodological literature of American institu¬tionalist thought can best be understood as an application of pragmatic instrumentalist philosophy to the study of economics. [In Bush’s view,] the most coherent methodological positions found in the institutionalist literature are derived from American pragmatic instrumentalist philosophy and […] even positions that appear to have no grounding in this philosophical tradition are quite compatible with it”.

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