Between Isolations and Constructions: Economic Models as Believable Worlds

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As the title of this essay suggests, my concern is with the issue of what are economic models. However, the goal of the paper is not to offer an in-depth study on multiple approaches to modelling in economics, but rather to overcome the dichotomical divide between conceptualizing models as isolations and constructions. This is done by introducing the idea of economic models as believable worlds, precisely descriptions of mechanisms that refer to the essentials of the modelled targets. In doing so I make use of the Woodward’s (2002) conceptualization of mechanisms. It is shown that such models do not offer the perfectly true descriptions of the actual world but justified beliefs about the modelled, precisely they aim at maximizing truth and minimizing falsity in a large body of belief about the real world. The analysis throughout the paper is supported by in-depth examination of the Varian’s (1980) model of sales that is here treated as a representative way of reasoning in neoclassical economics.
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Models as Mediators: Perspectives on Natural and Social Science.Morgan, Mary S. & Morrison, Margaret (eds.)
Thinking About Mechanisms.Machamer, Peter K.; Darden, Lindley & Craver, Carl F.

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