Equilibrium versus Process: A Confrontation between Mainstream and Austrian Ontology
We confront mainstream and Austrian economics from a history of economic analysis point of view in order to identify the main reasons of their divergent interests on the concepts of, respectively, equilibrium and processes. The result of this confrontation attributes a decisive role to ontological considerations: mainstream central focus on equilibrium is the consequence of the adoption of specific mathematical tools. But the claim for a mathematical approach to economics is a doctrine that is independent from any study on the nature of the underlying economic system and real phenomena that are non-tractable are either reinterpreted in an amenable to reason form or are simply ignored. The choice of the tools determine the orthodox vision of the economic world as a closed system of interacting autonomous atoms. Austrians proceed exactly the other way round: ontological investigations are the starting point and as a consequence, they choose the relevant tools so to be coherent with their ontology where social reality is apprehended along an open processual view.
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