Socioeconomic processes as open-ended results. Beyond invariance knowledge for interventionist purposes

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THEORIA. An International Journal for Theory, History and Foundations of Science, ISSN: 0495-4548, Vol: 32, Issue: 2, Page: 211-229

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Leonardo Ivarola
UPV/EHU Press, Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea / Universidad del PaĆ­s Vasco
Arts and Humanities
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article description
In this paper a critique to Cartwright's approaches of capacities and nomological machines is carried out. This approaches share the idea that invariant knowledge is crucial for achieving policy purposes. However, it is shown that socioeconomic processes do not fit to the logic of stable causal factors, but they are more suited to the logic of "open-ended results". On the basis of this ontological variation it is argued that ex-ante interventions are not appropriate in the socioeconomic realm. On the contrary, they must be understood in a "dynamic" sense. Finally, derivational robustness analysis is proposed as a useful tool for overcoming the problem of "overconstraint", a typical problem of economic models.

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