Isn’t that what economists do? Well… no, not really. When it comes to the economy, we think a lot about how to model it, but don’t really give much consideration to the nature of the “it” we are modelling. For very good reasons (namely, we didn’t used to have the tools to do otherwise), we study the economy not as it actually is, but as if it were something else. Economists on the whole actually study the economy as if it were a physical system.
What is an economy?
Brendan Markey-Towler
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That’s pretty much an idealist Platonian approach — in opposition to empirical approaches.