Did Milton Friedman’s Positive Methodology License the Formalist Revolution?

Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date


Publication Title

The Methodology of Positive Economics: Reflections on the Milton Friedman Legacy




'Milton Friedman's 'The Methodology of Positive Economics' was arguably the most important methodological statement in twentieth-century economics. The essay encapsulated what it meant to be truly scientific in an age and a profession that took 'being truly scientific' very seriously. In celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of its publication, Uskali Maki has assembled an impressive array of scholars to explore the essay from a wide variety of perspectives. He has done a superb job: the papers are uniformly substantive and informative. The volume is a fitting golden anniversary present to the profession.' Bruce Caldwell, University of North Carolina at Greensboro 'If economic methodologists had a bible, Friedman's 'The Methodology of Positive Economics' would be it. If economic methodologists had a Talmudic study of its bible, this book would be it. The book is insightful, thoughtful, and thought provoking. Who would have thought that after fifty years, there is still so much to say about Friedman's methodological essay? The book is necessary reading for anyone studying formal economic methodology.' David Colander, Middlebury College, Vermont