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An Essay in λ‐Calculus

Corrado Pasquali ()

Metroeconomica, 2004, vol. 55, issue 2‐3, 265-289

Abstract: This paper aims at presenting λ‐calculus and at suggesting how and why its abstractions set can be fruitfully used as a tool for representing entities populating the economic realm and how it can be conceived of as a language which is well suited to capturing some basic facts and features pertaining to complex organizational dynamics. I will present and discuss some of Walter Fontana's ideas on which this paper is largely grounded. The backbone and main idea of this essay is that λ‐calculus offers us the chance of adopting a precisely defined syntactical—as opposed to quantitative—mind‐set in representing the entities which populate a scientific theory. In particular, I shall try to illustrate the idea that syntax can be conceived of as an abstract theory of objects’ behavior when objects themselves are not represented solely in terms of their quantitative properties but as carriers of specific structure–action relationships and of construction possibilities.

Date: 2004
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