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L'axiomatisation et les théories économiques

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  • Philippe Mongin

Abstract

This essay aims at first reconsidering the « axiomatic method », and then showing how it is implemented in Debreu’ s general equilibrium theory, von Neumann and Morgenstern’s theory of decision, and Arrow’s, Nash’s and their followers’ contributions to normative economics. We separate an axiomatisation from other ways of formalization in terms of the following : first, a formal system, and second, the orderly interaction of a syntax and a semantics. We argue that logical calculi constitute a model of axiomatization that can be reproduced at least analogically elsewhere in science. Although economic axiomatizations follow Bourbaki’s set-theoretic style, they exhibit strongly distinctive features. Semantics is hardly formalized, and very often kept fixed throughout. In terms of a novel distinction of this paper, the economists’ formal systems are « theorematic » rather than « definitional ». We conclude by objecting to the notion of axiomatisation adopted in normative economics. Classification JEL : B20, B41, C00, C70, D70

Suggested Citation

  • Philippe Mongin, 2003. "L'axiomatisation et les théories économiques," Revue économique, Presses de Sciences-Po, vol. 54(1), pages 99-138.
  • Handle: RePEc:cai:recosp:reco_541_0099
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    Cited by:

    1. Philippe Mongin, 2012. "The doctrinal paradox, the discursive dilemma, and logical aggregation theory," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 73(3), pages 315-355, September.
    2. Marchionatti, Roberto & Mornati, Fiorenzo, 2014. "Economic Theories in Competition. A New Narrative of the Debate on General Economic Equilibrium Theory in the 1930s," Department of Economics and Statistics Cognetti de Martiis. Working Papers 201436, University of Turin.
    3. Philippe Mongin, 2011. "La théorie de la décision et la psychologie du sens commun," Working Papers hal-00579359, HAL.
    4. Jean Baccelli & Philippe Mongin, 2016. "Choice-based cardinal utility: a tribute to Patrick Suppes," Journal of Economic Methodology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 23(3), pages 268-288, July.
    5. Philippe Mongin & Franz Dietrich, 2011. "An Interpretive Account of Logical Aggregation Theory," Working Papers hal-00579343, HAL.
    6. Philippe Mongin, 2012. "Une source méconnue de la théorie de l'agrégation des jugements," Revue économique, Presses de Sciences-Po, vol. 63(4), pages 645-657.
    7. Philippe Mongin, 2007. "L'a priori et l'a posteriori en économie," Recherches économiques de Louvain, De Boeck Université, vol. 73(1), pages 5-53.
    8. repec:voj:journl:v:63:y:2016:i:5:p:503-523 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Sandye Gloria-Palermo, 2010. "Introducing Formalism in Economics: The Growth Model of John von Neumann," Panoeconomicus, Savez ekonomista Vojvodine, Novi Sad, Serbia, vol. 57(2), pages 153-172, June.
    10. Dorian Jullien, 2013. "Asian Disease-type of Framing of Outcomes as an Historical Curiosity," GREDEG Working Papers 2013-47, Groupe de REcherche en Droit, Economie, Gestion (GREDEG CNRS), University of Nice Sophia Antipolis.
    11. Michaël Lainé, 2014. "Vers une alternative au paradigme de la rationalité ? Victoires et déboires du programme spinoziste en économie," Post-Print hal-01335618, HAL.
    12. Jean Baccelli, 2016. "L'analyse axiomatique et l'attitude par rapport au risque," Post-Print hal-01462286, HAL.
    13. Sandye Gloria-Palermo, 2010. "Introducing Formalism in Economics : von Neumann's growth model reconsidered," Post-Print halshs-00726348, HAL.
    14. Sandye Gloria-Palermo, 2013. "In Search of the Right Tool: From Formalism to Constructivist Modelling," GREDEG Working Papers 2013-33, Groupe de REcherche en Droit, Economie, Gestion (GREDEG CNRS), University of Nice Sophia Antipolis.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • B20 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought since 1925 - - - General
    • B41 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Economic Methodology - - - Economic Methodology
    • C00 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - General - - - General
    • C70 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - General
    • D70 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - General

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