• Economics should be a science.
  • What Science Is
    • According to Wikipedia, “science is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions about the universe”. Within this definition exist some key words: systematic, organization, knowledge, testable, explanations, and predictions. Lest we get too philosophical, we can safely assume “the universe” means the same thing to everyone (although it often feels that those on the other side of the political aisle are living in a different universe). Therefore, let us break down further this definition of science.
      • Science is a systematic enterprise. In short, it is a tool for thinking. It is not dogma.
      • Organization. Science is a human endeavor. Human beings seek to introduce order into a complex world via the use of science.
      • Knowledge. Simply put, knowledge is those theories which have borne out predictions which are consistently correct. It, of course, comes in two forms: a priori (from priors) and a posteori (from experience).
      • Testable. You should be able to ascertain whether or not your explanations consistently make correct claims about empirical reality.
      • Explanations. Tied to knowledge. Effectively, they are chains of logic which attempt to ascribe causes and effects of phenomena (observations).
      • Predictions. Claims on the unknown. If you predict that it will be 70 degrees tomorrow, you are making a claim on an unknown variable (tomorrow’s temperature).
    • What does this have to do with economics? Economics is in a tough position. Economics cannot run experiments. However, it is also incredibly important to understand.
    • So, how can we derive economic truth? Statistics can help. However, most important is an open and honest conversation about economic phenomena and economic explanations. That is the ultimate goal of this blog: to achieve an open, honest, and scientific conversation about economics – and their implications for citizens of democracies and republics.

 

 

 

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