Formalism, Logic and Reality: A Keynesian Analysis

Posted: 29 Feb 2008

See all articles by Victoria Chick

Victoria Chick

University College London - Department of Economics

Sheila C. Dow

University of Stirling - Department of Economics; University of Victoria - Faculty of Business

Date Written: November 2001

Abstract

It is the purpose of this paper to elaborate on the argument that formalism is non-neutral; analyses which today would be described as informal turn into something quite different when formalised. The reasons for non-neutrality refer to the choice of assumptions or axioms, the choice of method, the type of logic employed and closure. Focusing on the last three of these, the paper addresses the question of how to move from results obtained with formal methods under conditions of closure to the reality one is attempting to model. We explore the need for provisional closure to analyse open systems and for a range of methods to complement formal modelling in the attempt to understand the complex reality of an economic system.

Keywords: Formalism, Keynes, Open systems, Closure

JEL Classification: B4

Suggested Citation

Chick, Victoria and Dow, Sheila C., Formalism, Logic and Reality: A Keynesian Analysis (November 2001). Cambridge Journal of Economics, Vol. 25, pp. 705-721, 2001. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=873650

Victoria Chick

University College London - Department of Economics ( email )

Gower Street
London WC1E 6BT, WC1E 6BT
United Kingdom

Sheila C. Dow (Contact Author)

University of Stirling - Department of Economics ( email )

Stirling, Scotland FK9 4LA
United Kingdom

University of Victoria - Faculty of Business ( email )

Victoria, British Columbia
Canada

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