chapter 13 - 13 Possible Tests of the Results of...

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13 Possible Tests of the Results of Integration 13.1 Empirical Tests This book itself has been a test of the validity and usefulness of the 12-step process of interdisciplinary analysis. The next chapter will review in some detail the value of each step in that process. It will argue in particular that affirmative answers should be given to the following sorts of questions: Do we gain insight by looking at more phenomena than any one discipline generally encompasses? Do we gain insight by looking at more theories than any one discipline gener- ally encompasses? Do we gain insight by looking at more methods than any one discipline gener- ally encompasses? This chapter will focus instead on how to test the various insights regarding economic growth derived in the preceding chapters. The analysis of preceding chapters has been pursued primarily along different causal links – but with atten- tion as necessary to emergent properties. The book has not created some overarch- ing grand theory or model, and has indeed argued that such an outcome is unlikely and probably undesirable. The results must thus for the most part be tested in pieces rather than in their entirety. One of the key arguments of chapter 3 was that each theory surveyed has an as-yet-poorly-identified range of applicability. That is, each theory sheds useful light on some aspects of the economic growth process but not on others. Yet the scholarly urge toward over-generalization has meant that theories are often judged to be everywhere right or everywhere wrong. Theories should instead be tested in a very context-specific manner: does the particular theory shed light on a particu- lar causal link? An even more egregious error in standard scholarly practice is that theories
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chapter 13 - 13 Possible Tests of the Results of...

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