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date: 12 July 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Critical realism in economics is centrally concerned with demonstrating how an explicit focus on social ontology can help identify the nature of contemporary mainstream economics and promote the further development of more relevant alternatives. In examining the relationship between critical realism and post-Keynesian economics two issues are considered. First, this chapter addresses the question of how a project that is primarily concerned with social ontology can productively inform, or offer directionality to, a more substantive program such as that of post-Keynesian economics. Second, the chapter considers how post-Keynesian economics can provide certain important resources for those seeking to stake out a distinctive position in social ontology. The argument is that the two projects can be mutually supportive. Critical realism can clarify what post-Keynesianism is and how it relates to other projects. Post-Keynesian economics, meanwhile, through its accounts of central social categories, offers material with which to work to those critical realists seeking to focus on issues in social ontology at a less abstract level than has been typical in the project.

Keywords: post-Keynesian economics, critical realism, philosophical ontology, scientific ontology, social reality, social ontology

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