'Let your science be human': Hume's economic methodology

Nakano, Takeshi
September 2006
Cambridge Journal of Economics;Sep2006, Vol. 30 Issue 5, p687
Academic Journal
This essay examines David Hume's economic methodology. The author characterises Hume's understanding of human actions as interactionism. Its key point is that interactions generate the disinterested view of ‘the spectator’ in the human mind. Hume applies this idea of the disinterested spectator to the position of social scientists in understanding social phenomena. Thus Hume's approach to social science can be regarded as interpretive. The author also points out the difference between Hume's method in social science and historical study. Considering this difference, the author argues that we should refer to Hume's social theory rather than historical works in order to understand his economic methodology.


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