The sciences of finance, their boundaries, their values

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Abstract

Several approaches from the social and natural sciences take finance, and especially financial markets, as a domain of systematic inquiry. Historians of economic thought have discussed extensively the emergence and evolution of some major, competing paradigms within finance, focusing on differences in their methodological and theoretical assumptions, as well as on the ways in which they have achieved dominant positions in the academia. However, how do these paradigms see the problem of their own value, in relationship to the value of their field of study? In other words, how do they present finance as a set of phenomena worth studying, and what is valuable about studying them from a particular angle? I examine here in this respect five significant scientific approaches to finance: financial economics, market microstructure, behavioral finance, social studies of science, and econophysics. I show how they represent the study of financial markets as a valuable, systematic endeavor, and how they represent their own value in providing a distinctive approach to the study of finance. I distinguish between internalistic and externalistic claims to value among these approaches. Internalistic value claims make reference to data accuracy and to methodological adequacy, while externalistic claims make reference to investigating links between finance and other forms of social organization and institutions.

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APA

Preda, A. (2017). The sciences of finance, their boundaries, their values. In Studies in Applied Philosophy, Epistemology and Rational Ethics (Vol. 34, pp. 151–167). Springer International Publishing. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-49872-0_9

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