Reflections on the method of Keynes

Vol. 36 No. 1 (2016)

Jan-Mar / 2016
Published March 1, 2020
PDF-Portuguese (Pt-BR)
PDF-Portuguese (Pt-BR)

How to Cite

Ferrari Filho, Fernando, and Fábio Henrique Bittes Terra. 2016. “Reflections on the Method of Keynes”. Brazilian Journal of Political Economy 36 (1), 70-90.

Reflections on the method of Keynes

Fernando Ferrari Filho
Professor titular da Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS), Porto Alegre, RS - Brasil e pesquisador do CNPq.
Fábio Henrique Bittes Terra
Professor adjunto da Universidade Federal de Uberlândia, Uberlândia, MG – Brasil.
Brazilian Journal of Political Economy, Vol. 36 No. 1 (2016), Jan-Mar / 2016, Pages 70-90


The question of method raises probably some of the most controversial discussions of the work of John Maynard Keynes. Briefly, the controversies fall into three main areas: (i) the unit of analysis, i.e., whether Keynes’ economic theory is atomistic or organic; (ii) whether or not there is continuity in Keynes’ philosophical foundations throughout his work; and (iii) speculation about the scientific method Keynes used. In that context, this paper aims to explore the latter of these lines of controversy. The idea is to show that, considering his insights related to the inductivism, mainly in the Treatise on Probability, there are evidences that Keynes’ method was historical and inductive. 

JEL Classification: B2; B4; E12.

Keywords: Keynes, Keynesian Theory, Scientific Methodology