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Die Himmel über uns: Über die Bedeutung des Gleichgewichts für die Wirtschaftswissenschaft

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  • Freeman, Alan

Abstract

This article was published in Freeman, Alan (2006): Die Himmel über uns. Über die Bedeutung des Gleichgewichts für die Wirtschaftswissenschaft, EXIT! Krise und Kritik der Warengesellschaft 3, 212-241 It is the German translation of an chapter originally published in Mosini, V (ed) (2007) Equilibrium in Economics: Scope and Limits. London: Routledge ISBN 0415391377 It was entitled ‘Heavens above: what equilibrium means for economics’, and appeared on pp240-260. The book was devoted to a dialogue between the natural and the social sciences on the concept of equilibrium, arising from a series of seminars organised by the Centre for the Political and Natural Sciences by Valeria Mosini, in 2006. In this article I suggest how a natural scientist can understand the use which economics makes of the word ‘equilibrium’. I argue that a simple concept, unexceptionable for the study of many physical phenomena, has been transformed into something completely different. If, therefore, we naively expect to find it applied in economics in the same way as ‘energy’ in physics or ‘molecule’ in chemistry, as a means of describing and explaining what an impartial observer may independently verify, we will misunderstand its real significance. My basic thesis is that the educated public makes a mistake in accepting, at face value, the claim that economics conducts itself as a science. I will argue that, as at present practiced, it conducts itself as a religion. I argue that the concept of equilibrium is the organising principle of this religion.

Suggested Citation

  • Freeman, Alan, 2006. "Die Himmel über uns: Über die Bedeutung des Gleichgewichts für die Wirtschaftswissenschaft," MPRA Paper 6892, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:6892
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    File URL: https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/6892/1/MPRA_paper_6892.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Freeman, Alan & Kliman, Andrew, 2000. "Two Concepts of Value, Two Rates of Profit, Two Laws of Motion," MPRA Paper 6715, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Value; Price; Money; Labour; Marx; MELT; Okishio; TSSI; temporalism; rate of profit;

    JEL classification:

    • B5 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Current Heterodox Approaches
    • B51 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Current Heterodox Approaches - - - Socialist; Marxian; Sraffian
    • B14 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought through 1925 - - - Socialist; Marxist
    • B4 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Economic Methodology
    • B31 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought: Individuals - - - Individuals
    • B12 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought through 1925 - - - Classical (includes Adam Smith)

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