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Theoretical and Applied Economics
No. 9 / 2013 (586)

Mathematics in economics. A perspective on necessity and sufficiency

Alexandru Ioan Cuza University, Iași

Abstract. The age of maturity in any science is marked by epistemological debates. This paper focuses on the controversy surrounding the use of mathematics in economics. The role of language, tools and appropriateness of methods is discussed within the borders set by empirical and rational approaches. An odyssey through schools of thought unveils creative oppositions, from naive neo-classical assumptions to literate praxeology and unexpected Bioeconomics. The main debate drifts away from the discussion on the necessity of mathematics in economics and concentrates more on the degree in which this abstract science should infiltrate on the highly empirical field of social sciences, in particular, economics. The dissertation includes opinions on the intrusion of yet another discipline in economics, namely computer science and the consequences thereof, especially related to possible imbalances. In conclusion, economics is a melting pot of other domains and it requires the craftsmanship of the highly literate.

Keywords: mathematics; economics; neo-classics; epistemology; crisis.

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