Econophysics: making sense of a chimera

European Journal for Philosophy of Science 11 (4):1-34 (2021)
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Abstract

The history of economic thought witnessed several prominent economists who took seriously models and concepts in physics for the elucidation and prediction of economic phenomena. Econophysics is an emerging discipline at the intersection of heterodox economics and the physics of complex systems, with practitioners typically engaged in two overlapping but distinct methodological programs. The first is to export mathematical methods used in physics for the purposes of studying economic phenomena. The second is to export mechanisms in physics into economics. A conclusion is drawn that physics transfer is often justified at the level of mathematical transfer but unjustified at the level of mechanistic transfer.

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Adrian K. Yee
Lingnan University

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