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How Economics Became a Mathematical Science (Science and Cultural Theory) Hardcover – May 28, 2002
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From the Publisher
"Roy Weintraub retells the history of twentieth-century economics through a series of engagementsduels of intellect and imaginationbetween individual members of two scientific communities: the mathematicians and the economists. A totally original, idiosyncratic, and highly personal account which illuminates brilliantly not just how economics became mathematized, but how mathematics cut free from the objects of science."Mary S. Morgan, London School of Economics and University of Amsterdam
Top Customer Reviews
The following two chapters aim to clarify the differences between mathematical and economic culture. As an illustration, he gives a account of a unfruitful correspondence between Don Patinkin and the eccentric mathematician, Cecil Phipps, who also was influencial in the puplication of the famous existence proof of Arrow and Debreu.
After this, Weintraub get's personal and tells the story of his economist father and mathematician uncle and how economics become a topic for well trained mathematicians. Weintraub also tells his own story of a economist turned mathematician as a example of a large inflow of mathematicians into economics.
The last chapter is dedicated to methodological issues.
Marshall's nineteenth-century mathematics is practically inseparable from its numerous physical applications, and he gradually becomes out of touch with the field as the Hilbertian axiomatization program takes form and math becomes its OWN (ideally) pristine entity. A stubborn mathematics professor from the University of Florida tries desperately to reject the Arrow-Debreau paper because he badly misinterprets certain economic assumptions. Weintraub's subjects are woven effortlessly throughout and through each episode. We ultimately arrive at Weintraub's personal narrative and watch as the massive moves in economics hit home and affect the professional lives of his father, uncle, and years later, the author himself--creating another stimulating and rich narrative layer for the reader to consider.
A basic history usually provides two dimensions, a linear progression of A begetting B begetting C. A better history considers complex, multi-directional factors that zip around in three dimensions colliding, reinforcing, negating, colluding.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I don't like history all that much, but this book convinced me otherwise. If you like the reading about the history of mathematics and the axiomatic foundations out economic... Read morePublished on November 14, 2012 by hkwsneakerhead