2023 (20), №3

“Conceptual Framework” of Economic Theory: History, Potential, and Prospects of Application

For citation: 

Dyatel, E.P. (2023). “Conceptual Framework” of Economic Theory: History, Potential, and Prospects of Application. AlterEconomics, 20(3), 527–547. https://doi.org/10.31063/AlterEconomics/2023.20-3.3


Conceptual framework stands as a pivotal notion in the methodological landscape of European sciences, having found productive applications in physics, mathematics, linguistics, and sociology. In the realm of economics, however, its potential remains underexplored, making it imperative to explore its heuristic value and integrate this methodological concept in contemporary research. This article aims to outline the conceptual framework of economic theory at different stages of its development and explore how it can organize the structure of economic science. The study analyzes the evolution of conceptualism in a sequence. This journey starts with classical education, shaping a scholar’s worldview, and classical science, combining rational (descriptive) and experimental (explanatory) research. It extends to modern (non-classical) scientific concepts, like neoclassical, evolutionary, and neo-institutional economic theory. The article examines different viewpoints, including those of positivists (E. Mach, R. Carnap, etc.), postpositivists (K. Popper, T. Kuhn, I. Lakatos), and economists (K. Marx, L. Walras, D. North). It identifies and describes the conceptual framework of Marxism, which is based on materialist dialectics and historical materialist perspectives. The article also shows how using the conceptual worldview and fundamental concepts effectively structures normative economics, classical political economy, neoclassicism, and other areas of economics.

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Evgeny P. Dyatel — Dr. Sci. (Econ.), Professor, Leading Research Associate at the Center for Economic Theory, Institute of Economics of the Ural Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences; https://orcid.org/0000-0002-4383-8060 (29, Moskovskaya St., Ekaterinburg, 620014, Russian Federation, 29; e-mail: dyatel1942@mail.ru).

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