Coping with inconsistencies: Examples from the social sciences

Erik Weber, Jeroen Van Bouwel



In this paper we present two case studies on inconsistencies in the social sciences. The first is devoted to sociologist George Caspar Homans and his exchange theory. We argue that his account of how he arrived at his theory is highly misleading, because it ignores the inconsistencies he had to cope with. In the second case study we analyse how John Maynard Keynes coped with the inconsistency between classical economic theory and real economic conditions in developing his path-breaking theory.

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ISSN: 1425-3305 (print version)

ISSN: 2300-9802 (electronic version)

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