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¿Axiomática o empirismo? Sobre el uso de las matemáticas en economía


  • Nestor Rubiano Páez

    () (Contraloría General de la República)


The basis of this essay, which analyzes the use of mathematics in economics, is the supposed dilemma between axiomatics and empiricism. The proponents of formalist axiomatics hold that economic phenomena should be explored and expressed with the language of mathematics, because mathematics is a form of reasoning from predefined axioms and because its reflection is more precise and rigorous. Empiricists of realists argue that this methodology cloisters economists in abstract discussions that are not pertinent to real economic problems. The article reviews some fundamental philosophical works and contrasts their arguments with those of economists both persuasions.

Suggested Citation

  • Nestor Rubiano Páez, 2009. "¿Axiomática o empirismo? Sobre el uso de las matemáticas en economía," Revista de Economía Institucional, Universidad Externado de Colombia - Facultad de Economía, vol. 11(20), pages 271-286, January-J.
  • Handle: RePEc:rei:ecoins:v:11:y:2009:i:20:p:271-286

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Debreu, Gerard, 1991. "The Mathematization of Economic Theory," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(1), pages 1-7, March.
    2. F. Berkhout, 1999. "Essay," Energy & Environment, , vol. 10(2), pages 209-212, March.
    3. Leontief, Wassily, 1971. "Theoretical Assumptions and Nonobserved Facts," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 61(1), pages 1-7, March.
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    More about this item


    methodology; epistemology; axiomatics; mathematization;

    JEL classification:

    • A12 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Relation of Economics to Other Disciplines
    • B41 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Economic Methodology - - - Economic Methodology


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