Two methods or two anthropologies?

Vol. 33 No. 4 (2013)

Oct-Dec / 2013
Published October 1, 2013
PDF-Portuguese (Português (Brasil))
PDF-Portuguese (Português (Brasil))

How to Cite

F. S. Prado, Eleutério. 2013. “Two Methods or Two Anthropologies?”. Brazilian Journal of Political Economy 33 (4):649-58.

Two methods or two anthropologies?

Eleutério F. S. Prado
Professor sênior da FEA-USP.
Brazilian Journal of Political Economy, Vol. 33 No. 4 (2013), Oct-Dec / 2013, Pages 649-658


This is a commentary to a well-known paper of Bresser-Pereira: The two methods and the hard core of economics. Therefore, it target a very suggestive article that seeks to examine the conceptions of man of classical political economy and Keynesian economics in contrast to the reductive conception of man found in positive economic theory, especially in neoclassical theory. It shows that both conceptions at large think with abstracts economic men. However, the first one reasons with individuals who are determined by the historical and social structures of the capitalistic economic system. The second one seeks to present them in a formal way, as if they were mere pieces of a large automaton, i.e. the mercantile system as a large and standardized mechanism. In the end, Marx is distinguished because he does not reflect based on a static anthropological foundation. For him, men are subjects that become because they can realize themselves only in the course of history. 

JEL Classification: B41.

Keywords: historical-deductive method hypothetical-deductive method mathematical economics historical-oriented economics political economy