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The Non-neutrality of Formalism

Sheila Dow

Chapter 9 in Foundations for New Economic Thinking, 2012, pp 140-161 from Palgrave Macmillan

Abstract: Abstract In the view of many, perhaps most, economists, to state a theory in terms of a formal model is an unambiguous improvement, rather than, as we see it, a matter of costs and benefits. The benefits (greater rigour, more precision, demonstrable results), are widely understood, while the costs are underexplored. The costs are associated with the way in which formalising an argument can change its meaning, that is, with its non-neutrality. This chapter will focus on the particular costs of formalism, associated with the obstacles formalism poses for translating from (formalist) theory to practical application.

Keywords: Exogenous Variable; Money Supply; Classical Logic; Partial Analysis; Organic Nature (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2012
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DOI: 10.1057/9781137000729_9

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