These are all good thoughts from Jonathan Catalan:
"Unfortunately, don't own the actual book and I can't access the
complete article online, so I'm stuck reading only the first and last
thirds of the article. But, this is enough to get the gist of Friedman's
argument, which I actually find somewhat persuasive in some regards.
He argues that all theories necessarily abstract from some
aspect of reality, and I think he's mostly correct. However, like I
write in my reaction to Caldwell's article on Post Keynesian methodology
before, I don't think the preference for predictive over explanatory
hypotheses is well grounded; rather, I think economics should seek to explain
phenomena. Sometimes these explanations, which establish laws of
causality, can be useful for making general, relatively short-term
predictions, but this isn't the main purpose of economic science.
Finally, it also seems to me that Friedman underrates the benefits of
studying the same phenomenon from different angles — i.e. different
models which abstract from different realities; this is readily apparent
in the classical monetarist explanation for business cycles: a scarcity
of money (as opposed to this being a secondary consequence or even
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