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The meaning of open systems

Chick V & Dow S (2005) The meaning of open systems, Journal of Economic Methodology, 12 (3), pp. 363-381.

There has been considerable discussion lately of the concept of open systems, which has revealed that different participants are using the terms ‘openness' and ‘closure' in different ways. The purpose of this paper is to address issues of meaning that arise in this particular discourse, with a view to clarifying both conflicts in usage and the underlying issues involved. We explore the different meanings of openness and closure extant in the literature, as applied at the ontological and epistemological levels, focusing on our own use of the terms in relation to that which prevails in neoclassical economics on the one hand and to the use made of them by Tony Lawson and other critical realists on the other.

open systems; closed systems; ontology; epistemology; theory construction; abstraction

AuthorsChick Victoria, Dow Sheila
Publication date09/2005
PublisherTaylor and Francis
ISSN 1350-178X

Journal of Economic Methodology: Volume 12, Issue 3 (2005)

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