An inquiry into the theory of economic development as presented by Gunnar Myrdal

McMahon, Paul. (1988). An inquiry into the theory of economic development as presented by Gunnar Myrdal Honours Thesis, School of Economics, The University of Queensland.

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Author McMahon, Paul.
Thesis Title An inquiry into the theory of economic development as presented by Gunnar Myrdal
School, Centre or Institute School of Economics
Institution The University of Queensland
Publication date 1988
Thesis type Honours Thesis
Total pages 129
Language eng
Subjects 14 Economics
Formatted abstract This thesis is an inquiry into Mrydal's theory of economic development. Myrdal conducts his investigations into the economic development of a group of Asian countries from the intellectual horizon of the sociology of knowledge in order to avoid the error of those inquiries which used a Western-oriented model which was inappropriate to non-Western countries. The sociology of knowledge recognizes the historical relativity of thought and analytical models and seeks to avoid the error of analyzing economic development by means of a model which is not culturally applicable. The theoretical component of Myrdal's massive study is devoted to this subject - a plea for the sociology of knowledge, a kind of purification rite to remove any inherited intellectual biases that would prejudge the study towards an end not culturally relevant to the particular countries. The thesis first addresses this methodological issue in order to glean Myrdal's understanding of the sociology of knowledge and evaluate the consistency of his application of it. The counterpart to the sociology of knowledge in the history or philosophy of science is a particular interpretation of the historical relativity of certain scientific theories which have been construed to exhibit a unique historical pattern. These constructions are by Thomas Kuhn and Imre Lakatos and as they have been in vogue for some twenty years and display the contradictory or antinomial character of scientific methodology a discussion of Kuhn and Lakatos' contributions is attempted. Both the sociology of knowledge and the philosophy of science are legacies of !'lax h1eber's attempt to free social science from historicism and establish values on a purely subjective and non-cognitive basis. In order to put the thesis in the context in which social science understands itself as a replacement of the common-sense way of understanding the human things, the thesis concludes with a summary of Leo Strauss' critique of Max Weber's case for a positivistic social science.

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