Publication 864

Vollmar B. H. (2013) Economic Theory: A Field for the Application of Non-dualist Thought? A Clarification of Potential Epistemic Benefits. Constructivist Foundations 8(2): 216–226. Fulltext at
Context: Due to its grounding in a simplistic core model, mainstream theoretical work in economics is heavily conditioned by a realist epistemic framework that may be viewed as the “paradogma” – sensu Mitterer – of economics. Problem: The contribution delineates theoretical developments on the basis of a realist epistemology and their problem-laden consequences for the economic sciences. The subsequent critical discussion seeks to clarify whether economic theory formation is a suitable field for the application of Mitterer’s non-dualist ideas. Method: In the context of a review of their historical background, the paper will explore the possibilities and limits of an application of Mitterer’s non-dualist argumentation to the economic sciences, and present a diagnosis of compatibility and a characterisation of necessary steps towards amplification. Results: It can be shown that the economic sciences would gain in expert knowledge and applicability by adopting the alternative of non-dualism, whose potential has been little appreciated so far. The solution to the meta-scientific problems caused by the pre-structuring of economics in terms of a realist epistemology seems at hand. To take up this new meta-scientific perspective, however, theoretical progress in both non-dualism and economics is required, particularly by paying more serious attention to the theoretical component of communication. Implications: Non-dualism can certainly be utilised by the economic sciences to induce radical innovations and conceptional revisions involving higher meta-scientific consistency. In future, pragmatic gaps will increasingly have to be filled conceptually in order to develop more highly-reflected economic theory formation and corresponding scientific practice. Hence the main idea is that economic actions are inevitably, but not exclusively, based on communication. Constructivist content: Theoretical approaches embracing epistemic relativism in the economic sciences will be properly assessed and developed further along the lines of a non-dualist conceptual revision on the basis of an ontology-free understanding of reality.


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