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Economics as an Imperial Science


  • Martin Èihák


This article summarizes the main points discussed at the seminar ?Economics as an Imperial Science,? held by the Czech Economic Association in November 1999. The seminar was devoted to the theory of preferences and its extensions to ?non-economic? topics, a research agenda coined by Prof. Gary Becker, the 1992 Nobel Memorial Prize Winner. There were two main speakers. Dr. Dušan Toíska (CD-F, a.s.) presented the standard textbook neoclassical axiomatic approach to preferences. He argued that the theory of preferences is the hard core of what people are able to sensibly articulate about their own decisions and behavior. Prof. Ivo. Straka (Prague School of Economics) was more critical of Prof. Becker?s attempts to extend the theory of preferences to non-economic areas of research. He argued that Prof. Becker?s approach obscures the definition of capital and the distinction between consumption and investment, which lessens our understanding of reality. Other seminar discussions focused on various issues, including the definition of science, the role of mathematics in economics, and McKloskey?s concept of economics as a rhetorical space.

Suggested Citation

  • Martin Èihák, 2000. "Economics as an Imperial Science," Czech Journal of Economics and Finance (Finance a uver), Charles University Prague, Faculty of Social Sciences, vol. 50(2), pages 113-116, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:fau:fauart:v:50:y:2000:i:2:p:113-116

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    JEL classification:

    • A1 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics


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