IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Review of Nicola Giocoli (2003) 'Modelling Rational Agents: From Interwar Economics To Early Modern Game Theory'


  • Andy Denis

    (City University, London)


Giocoli (2003) won awards from ESHET and, in its original form as Giocoli’s PhD thesis, from HES. It lives up to its promise. According to Giocoli, in the period between the 1890s and the 1980s a transformation took place in the way that economists thought about what it was that they were doing. The essence of this was a shift from a ‘systems of forces’ (SOF) to a ‘system of relations’ (SOR) view. The former focuses on economic forces including those leading to equilibrium, the latter on the properties of possible equilibria without consideration of the forces which might underpin them. The review agrees with Giocoli that this constituted a retrograde step: abstract, static mathematical rigour and formalism replace the attempt to understand real-world economic change. Linking the book to Mary Poovey’s (1998) “History of the Modern Fact”, the review welcomes the attempt to write ‘epistemological history’ of economics.

Suggested Citation

  • Andy Denis, 2004. "Review of Nicola Giocoli (2003) 'Modelling Rational Agents: From Interwar Economics To Early Modern Game Theory'," Method and Hist of Econ Thought 0410002, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpmh:0410002
    Note: Type of Document - doc; pages: 5

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    More about this item


    history of economic thought; methodology; Neumann; Nash; epistemological history;

    JEL classification:

    • B - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpmh:0410002. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (EconWPA). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.