This thesis argues that development economics is the policy-based arm of the orthodox paradigm, neoclassical economics. Because neoclassical theory is enacted into policy, the philosophical and methodological foundations of development economics are those of the orthodoxy. Therefore, if development policy does not result in the aims to which it aspires, the neoclassical theory underlying development policy requires examination.
Therefore, this thesis seeks to exposit the philosophical and methodological foundations of the orthodoxy. This is attempted by:
(i) evaluating the method by which theory is appraised and either accepted or rejected, both from the context of neoclassical economics and the philosophy of science, from whence theory choice criteria arise;
(ii) evaluating the orthodox analytical framework used to explain the phenomena deemed to be of significance to the field(s) of inquiry encompassed by neoclassical economics;
(iii) evaluating the effects of a theoretical application within development economics from both orthodox and heterodox perspectives;
(iv) evaluating an heterodox approach, evolutionary economics, in the context of the philosophical and methodological problems identified within the orthodox paradigm.