Total Posts:29|Showing Posts:1-29
Jump to topic:

Economics as a philosophy - not a science

R0b1Billion
Posts: 3,733
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
8/12/2012 11:14:20 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
I have come to the conclusion that economics is not a science; it is clearly more akin to philosophy (humanities) than it is to science.

In science, there is progress. In the humanities, intelligence alone dictates the level of advancement. For instance, Einstein was one of the greatest physics minds we have ever had. But even an amateur physicist could enlighten Einstein using modern scientific principles. One could not enlighten Plato or Nietzsche this way; nor Proudhon or Marx.

Economics is failing to produce anything of value for our society. By following the philosophy of economics, which is now worshiped alongside Jesus Christ himself, we are only weakening our financial state of affairs. Whereas 60 years ago one could buy a home with cash with one job, one now needs to have several jobs within a family unit just to be able to afford a mortgage, which is an incredibly undesirable state of affairs (ask anyone who has one!). Mortgages involve you paying much, much more for the home than the home is actually worth.

Laissezfairre made the argument the other day that our goods are more valuable (the exact example was an iPod versus a radio), so that would account for the difference in equity that I am seeing, but I resist this argument for several reasons. First, the actual amount of utility one gains from an iPod is not actually greater than a radio. Utility has a certain relativity to it; a bucket of water to someone living on the Gaza strip has more utility than a fleet of high-end sports cars have to a wealthy individual. There is no absolute valuation in this way. I would argue that somebody in the 60s, listening to a new Beatles record, would not have the small fraction of utility we would expect compared to you and your virtually limitless selection of music on your iPod.

Second, the ability to own a home is a fundamental desire for all people. Having it crammed with modern gadgetry and luxuries is not. If you own your own home paid off, then you only have to worry about taxes - you don't have a monthly rent or mortgage payment due. For the 90% of us who aren't very well off (beyond the point of worrying about finances at all), this is crucial to maintaining your security. I mean "security" in the Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs sense.

The fact that so few of us can own a home without being enslaved to mortgages these days is testament to the fact that our economic state is deteriorating. While a slightly higher % of people actually own their own homes now than in 1960, "homeowner equity has fallen steadily since World War II and is now less than 50% of the value of homes on average.[wiki]" IOWs, we are given homes, but we are charged more for them and put farther into debt as a result. When you all buy homes, you will pay almost double the value of the homes to lenders and probably will never see the end of your payments as you continue to refinance (unless you are simply given the home).

We are becoming worse off because we worship economic philosophy as science. We need to replace economics with science; mainly biology, physics, and chemistry. IOWs, whether or not to build around a body of water isn't an economic issue, it's an issue of the aforementioned disciplines. Physics says our energy supplies cannot last; chemistry says our water and air is becoming polluted; and biology says that the species we depend on are not thriving. I will argue these points individually with you if you want, I am an environmental science master's degree student and your pathetic arguments about us being better off "than ever" are not only wrong but would be comical if the situation weren't so dire. We use economics to override the scientist at every turn, and I am frankly appalled at the audacity of men to assign "responsibility" to economics and shun science and morality in the process.
Beliefs in a nutshell:
- The Ends never justify the Means.
- Objectivity is secondary to subjectivity.
- The War on Drugs is the worst policy in the U.S.
- Most people worship technology as a religion.
- Computers will never become sentient.
DanT
Posts: 5,693
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
8/12/2012 11:21:15 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
Economics is a science, not a philosophy.

(n) science (ability to produce solutions in some problem domain)
http://wordnetweb.princeton.edu...
(n) philosophy (any personal belief about how to live or how to deal with a situation)
http://wordnetweb.princeton.edu...
"Chemical weapons are no different than any other types of weapons."~Lordknukle
Ragnar_Rahl
Posts: 19,297
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
8/12/2012 11:59:07 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
hereas 60 years ago one could buy a home with cash with one job, one now needs to have several jobs within a family unit just to be able to afford a mortgage, which is an incredibly undesirable state of affairs (ask anyone who has one!). Mortgages involve you paying much, much more for the home than the home is actually worth.

I agree that economics is not a science, but let's look at this.

One can still buy a home with cash. A mortgage is an option nothing more.

1950 median home value US:
44,600

2000 median home value US:
119,600

1950 median male personal income:
$2,570

2000 median male personal income:
28,343

1950 median female personal income:
953

2000 median female personal income:
16,063

Sorry, much more growth in incomes than home values.

Possible confounding factors include:
People don't wanna save as much anymore.

People have other options to spend their money on than housing if they like.

People maybe work a little bit harder (but not nearly enough to make your statement true with a factor of between 2 and 3 in the home values and a factor of between 12 and 16 in the income values).

People have a realistic view of today's economy, but history is written by the winners, so they only have a view of what am upper-class male could afford in the 1950s.
It came to be at its height. It was commanded to command. It was a capital before its first stone was laid. It was a monument to the spirit of man.
Ragnar_Rahl
Posts: 19,297
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
8/13/2012 12:03:07 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
We need to replace economics with science; mainly biology, physics, and chemistry.
This is impossible by definition.
It came to be at its height. It was commanded to command. It was a capital before its first stone was laid. It was a monument to the spirit of man.
Logic_on_rails
Posts: 2,445
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
8/13/2012 2:24:07 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
Economics may have it's deficiencies, yet it has it's positives.

With regard to the deficiencies, it tends to make people focus too much on the quantitative side of things, that which is easily measured. For instance, when buying something you tend to focus on price to the detriment of other factors (say, your aesthetic preferences) because it's quantifiable. Economics in this manner often disregards certain important details. Of course, here I humbly recommend sometime like behavioural economics, or economics as merely one way of thinking towards a problem, which can lead to a more nuanced view.

In and of itself though, economics is not a problem, so long as you take it for what it is and nothing more. In particular, economics is tempered by it's assumptions. Far too many forget these assumptions (or lack of in some cases...) and start basing critical decisions around it. For instance, the price mechanism tends to emphasise the benefits of competition. Of course, business literature arises from this and a competitive mindset is developed. Naturally though people forget the many benefits of cooperation, one of which is economies of scale.

Don't let my statements above make you question whether I value economics though - I value economic knowledge very highly. However, the thinking and policies associated with economics must be tempered by other things, such as psychology. In this manner we return to your matter of utility Rob - what gives us utility is often something presumed, when really, for many people, it's the question we ought to be asking, not presuming.
"Tis not in mortals to command success
But we"ll do more, Sempronius, we"ll deserve it
DanT
Posts: 5,693
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
8/13/2012 11:30:57 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 8/12/2012 11:14:20 PM, R0b1Billion wrote:
I have come to the conclusion that economics is not a science; it is clearly more akin to philosophy (humanities) than it is to science.

In science, there is progress. In the humanities, intelligence alone dictates the level of advancement. For instance, Einstein was one of the greatest physics minds we have ever had. But even an amateur physicist could enlighten Einstein using modern scientific principles. One could not enlighten Plato or Nietzsche this way; nor Proudhon or Marx.

Economics is failing to produce anything of value for our society. By following the philosophy of economics, which is now worshiped alongside Jesus Christ himself, we are only weakening our financial state of affairs. Whereas 60 years ago one could buy a home with cash with one job, one now needs to have several jobs within a family unit just to be able to afford a mortgage, which is an incredibly undesirable state of affairs (ask anyone who has one!). Mortgages involve you paying much, much more for the home than the home is actually worth.

Laissezfairre made the argument the other day that our goods are more valuable (the exact example was an iPod versus a radio), so that would account for the difference in equity that I am seeing, but I resist this argument for several reasons. First, the actual amount of utility one gains from an iPod is not actually greater than a radio. Utility has a certain relativity to it; a bucket of water to someone living on the Gaza strip has more utility than a fleet of high-end sports cars have to a wealthy individual. There is no absolute valuation in this way. I would argue that somebody in the 60s, listening to a new Beatles record, would not have the small fraction of utility we would expect compared to you and your virtually limitless selection of music on your iPod.

Second, the ability to own a home is a fundamental desire for all people. Having it crammed with modern gadgetry and luxuries is not. If you own your own home paid off, then you only have to worry about taxes - you don't have a monthly rent or mortgage payment due. For the 90% of us who aren't very well off (beyond the point of worrying about finances at all), this is crucial to maintaining your security. I mean "security" in the Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs sense.

The fact that so few of us can own a home without being enslaved to mortgages these days is testament to the fact that our economic state is deteriorating. While a slightly higher % of people actually own their own homes now than in 1960, "homeowner equity has fallen steadily since World War II and is now less than 50% of the value of homes on average.[wiki]" IOWs, we are given homes, but we are charged more for them and put farther into debt as a result. When you all buy homes, you will pay almost double the value of the homes to lenders and probably will never see the end of your payments as you continue to refinance (unless you are simply given the home).

We are becoming worse off because we worship economic philosophy as science. We need to replace economics with science; mainly biology, physics, and chemistry. IOWs, whether or not to build around a body of water isn't an economic issue, it's an issue of the aforementioned disciplines. Physics says our energy supplies cannot last; chemistry says our water and air is becoming polluted; and biology says that the species we depend on are not thriving. I will argue these points individually with you if you want, I am an environmental science master's degree student and your pathetic arguments about us being better off "than ever" are not only wrong but would be comical if the situation weren't so dire. We use economics to override the scientist at every turn, and I am frankly appalled at the audacity of men to assign "responsibility" to economics and shun science and morality in the process.

Economics is by definition a science. Anyone who says otherwise is ignorant on the subject of economics. Take an economics course, and you will see that it is by no means a philosophy. The reason we have so many economic problems is because people treat it like a philosophy.

(n) science (ability to produce solutions in some problem domain)
http://wordnetweb.princeton.edu...
(n) philosophy (any personal belief about how to live or how to deal with a situation)
http://wordnetweb.princeton.edu...

Supply and Demand is a scientific model, and Say's law is a scientific law.
"Chemical weapons are no different than any other types of weapons."~Lordknukle
R0b1Billion
Posts: 3,733
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
8/13/2012 12:45:38 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
DanT - do you have any rebuttal to my argument regarding historical figures in philosophy and science? I think that, when it comes down to it, EVERYTHING is a philosophy on some level. Even science itself is a philosophy in its own right. Similarly, ANYTHING can be subjected to the scientific method. The question is whether economics is a legitimate science or not. When we turn our backs on biology and chemistry in order to purvey our economic ideals, we have a very big problem. This is clearly a question of philosophy - political philosophy.
Beliefs in a nutshell:
- The Ends never justify the Means.
- Objectivity is secondary to subjectivity.
- The War on Drugs is the worst policy in the U.S.
- Most people worship technology as a religion.
- Computers will never become sentient.
Ragnar_Rahl
Posts: 19,297
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
8/13/2012 2:03:39 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
Similarly, ANYTHING can be subjected to the scientific method
The scientific method requires experiments where you control relevant variables, impossible in human behavior.
It came to be at its height. It was commanded to command. It was a capital before its first stone was laid. It was a monument to the spirit of man.
GeoLaureate8
Posts: 12,252
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
8/13/2012 2:14:59 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
@DanT

That's not the definition of philosophy. Thats how it is conventionally used, but not in philosophy acadamia.
"We must raise the standard of the Old, free, decentralized, and strictly limited Republic."
-- Murray Rothbard

"The worst thing that can happen to a good cause is, not to be skillfully attacked, but to be ineptly defended."
-- Frederic Bastiat
DanT
Posts: 5,693
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
8/13/2012 2:26:00 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 8/13/2012 12:45:38 PM, R0b1Billion wrote:
DanT - do you have any rebuttal to my argument regarding historical figures in philosophy and science?
Yes I do.... Plato would have no clue about supply and demand, because it didn't appear until John Locke, and even than it was not fully developed. The economy is not based on how we choose to perceive it as individuals, it is based on cause and effect. If I think people should not make below a certain wage, that does not mean it can be practically implemented, because implementing minimum wage effects other factors within the economy.

I think that, when it comes down to it, EVERYTHING is a philosophy on some level.
BS! Look at the definitions I provided for science, and philosophy.
Even science itself is a philosophy in its own right.
No it's not. Different schools of thought may be philosophy, but the science that lead to that school of thought is not philosophy. That is to say science may influence philosophy, but that does not make science philosophy.
Similarly, ANYTHING can be subjected to the scientific method. The question is whether economics is a legitimate science or not. When we turn our backs on biology and chemistry in order to purvey our economic ideals, we have a very big problem.

Please explain this one?

This is clearly a question of philosophy - political philosophy.

Economic science and political philosophy are two separate categories. Political philosophy deals with personal views regarding the the state, whereas economic science deals with how the economy functions and responds to things.
"Chemical weapons are no different than any other types of weapons."~Lordknukle
DanT
Posts: 5,693
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
8/13/2012 2:32:52 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 8/13/2012 2:14:59 PM, GeoLaureate8 wrote:
@DanT

That's not the definition of philosophy. Thats how it is conventionally used, but not in philosophy acadamia.

Philosophy
the study of the fundamental nature of knowledge, reality, and existence, especially when considered as an academic discipline.
http://oxforddictionaries.com...

Science
the intellectual and practical activity encompassing the systematic study of the structure and behavior of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment
http://oxforddictionaries.com...

Therefore it is a science, not a philosophy, because it deals with the study of the structure and behavior of the economy, not the study of the fundamental nature of the knowledge, reality, and existence of the economy.
"Chemical weapons are no different than any other types of weapons."~Lordknukle
16kadams
Posts: 10,497
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
8/13/2012 4:31:21 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 8/13/2012 2:03:39 PM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
Similarly, ANYTHING can be subjected to the scientific method
The scientific method requires experiments where you control relevant variables, impossible in human behavior.

Disagree. Things such as high prices lead to less demand. That's been an observed human behavior in economics
https://www.youtube.com...
https://rekonomics.wordpress.com...
"A trend is a trend, but the question is, will it bend? Will it alter its course through some unforeseen force and come to a premature end?" -- Alec Cairncross
logicalrobot
Posts: 1
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
8/13/2012 4:38:21 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 8/13/2012 4:31:21 PM, 16kadams wrote:
At 8/13/2012 2:03:39 PM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
Similarly, ANYTHING can be subjected to the scientific method
The scientific method requires experiments where you control relevant variables, impossible in human behavior.

Disagree. Things such as high prices lead to less demand. That's been an observed human behavior in economics

If There is inelastic demand, this is untrue. Plus observance does not equal the scientific method, which relies on experimentation with a controlled variable.
darkkermit
Posts: 11,204
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
8/13/2012 4:57:11 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
It baffles me to me what people think economics is. Economics is not policy. It is positive analysis, not normative analysis and has been used predictably. If you try to control prices, it leads to surpluses and shortages which has been observed everywhere. Its about what the effect the price of oranges would be If the price of apples change.
Open borders debate:
http://www.debate.org...
Apollo.11
Posts: 3,478
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
8/13/2012 4:59:32 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
Wouldn't the Austrian position be to agree with the OP?
Doesn't it hold economics to be a subdivision of praxeology?
Sapere Aude!
Steelerman6794
Posts: 158
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
8/13/2012 5:02:25 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 8/12/2012 11:14:20 PM, R0b1Billion wrote:

In science, there is progress. In the humanities, intelligence alone dictates the level of advancement. For instance, Einstein was one of the greatest physics minds we have ever had. But even an amateur physicist could enlighten Einstein using modern scientific principles. One could not enlighten Plato or Nietzsche this way; nor Proudhon or Marx.

I think you're comparing apples and oranges. Obviously you could impact a scientist using science. But the philosophers you listed for the most part maintained their views independently of scientific truths. I don't see why they wouldn't respond to modern philosophical arguments.

Economics is failing to produce anything of value for our society. By following the philosophy of economics, which is now worshiped alongside Jesus Christ himself, we are only weakening our financial state of affairs. Whereas 60 years ago one could buy a home with cash with one job, one now needs to have several jobs within a family unit just to be able to afford a mortgage, which is an incredibly undesirable state of affairs (ask anyone who has one!). Mortgages involve you paying much, much more for the home than the home is actually worth.

No, it means economics isn't fully understood. That's like saying pathology isn't a science because we haven't eradicated disease.

Laissezfairre made the argument the other day that our goods are more valuable (the exact example was an iPod versus a radio), so that would account for the difference in equity that I am seeing, but I resist this argument for several reasons. First, the actual amount of utility one gains from an iPod is not actually greater than a radio. Utility has a certain relativity to it; a bucket of water to someone living on the Gaza strip has more utility than a fleet of high-end sports cars have to a wealthy individual. There is no absolute valuation in this way. I would argue that somebody in the 60s, listening to a new Beatles record, would not have the small fraction of utility we would expect compared to you and your virtually limitless selection of music on your iPod.

Economics is a mish-mash of many disciplines. Things like observable, population growth, and the state of various resources are measurable. Human whims and well-being isn't. That doesn't mean economics is inherently unscientific. It just means intangibles have to be noted we calll these "factors of error").

Second, the ability to own a home is a fundamental desire for all people. Having it crammed with modern gadgetry and luxuries is not. If you own your own home paid off, then you only have to worry about taxes - you don't have a monthly rent or mortgage payment due. For the 90% of us who aren't very well off (beyond the point of worrying about finances at all), this is crucial to maintaining your security. I mean "security" in the Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs sense.

Material luxury may be a goal of government policy, but economics as a pure science doesn't have to assume the utility of individual resources. Econ 101 leaves that up to individual whims. You're confusing a science with its applications.

The fact that so few of us can own a home without being enslaved to mortgages these days is testament to the fact that our economic state is deteriorating. While a slightly higher % of people actually own their own homes now than in 1960, "homeowner equity has fallen steadily since World War II and is now less than 50% of the value of homes on average.[wiki]" IOWs, we are given homes, but we are charged more for them and put farther into debt as a result. When you all buy homes, you will pay almost double the value of the homes to lenders and probably will never see the end of your payments as you continue to refinance (unless you are simply given the home).

Just because we screwed up the experiment doesn't mean the science is false, or even fallable. It just means we go back to the drawing board, and then either draw up a new plan or question some concepts that we thought were true, but might not be.

We are becoming worse off because we worship economic philosophy as science. We need to replace economics with science; mainly biology, physics, and chemistry. IOWs, whether or not to build around a body of water isn't an economic issue, it's an issue of the aforementioned disciplines. Physics says our energy supplies cannot last; chemistry says our water and air is becoming polluted; and biology says that the species we depend on are not thriving. I will argue these points individually with you if you want, I am an environmental science master's degree student and your pathetic arguments about us being better off "than ever" are not only wrong but would be comical if the situation weren't so dire. We use economics to override the scientist at every turn, and I am frankly appalled at the audacity of men to assign "responsibility" to economics and shun science and morality in the process.

Economists are concerned about these environmental problems too. The goal of economics is to study how scarce resources are allocated. When you have a negative externality (say, a polluted river) whose costs are not fully born by the polluter (a gunk factory), economists seek to correct this problem as well.
Steelerman6794
Posts: 158
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
8/13/2012 5:11:25 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 8/13/2012 4:59:32 PM, Apollo.11 wrote:
Wouldn't the Austrian position be to agree with the OP?
Doesn't it hold economics to be a subdivision of praxeology?

I think Austrians would argue that economics is scientific, but that its complexity means that governments can't manipulate it effectively. They believe economics is a pure science that should only be considered on the individual level.

OP is arguing that economics shouldn't even be considered a science all by both individuals and "society."
R0b1Billion
Posts: 3,733
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
8/13/2012 5:16:17 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 8/13/2012 2:03:39 PM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
Similarly, ANYTHING can be subjected to the scientific method
The scientific method requires experiments where you control relevant variables, impossible in human behavior.

Try explaining that to an anthropologist...
Beliefs in a nutshell:
- The Ends never justify the Means.
- Objectivity is secondary to subjectivity.
- The War on Drugs is the worst policy in the U.S.
- Most people worship technology as a religion.
- Computers will never become sentient.
R0b1Billion
Posts: 3,733
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
8/13/2012 5:16:39 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 8/13/2012 2:17:28 PM, Cody_Franklin wrote:
At 8/13/2012 12:45:38 PM, R0b1Billion wrote:
I think that, when it comes down to it, EVERYTHING is a philosophy on some level. Even science itself is a philosophy in its own right.

http://static1.fjcdn.com...

your link goes to a general page...
Beliefs in a nutshell:
- The Ends never justify the Means.
- Objectivity is secondary to subjectivity.
- The War on Drugs is the worst policy in the U.S.
- Most people worship technology as a religion.
- Computers will never become sentient.
NixonianVolkswagen
Posts: 481
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
8/13/2012 5:31:18 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 8/13/2012 5:11:25 PM, Steelerman6794 wrote:
At 8/13/2012 4:59:32 PM, Apollo.11 wrote:
Wouldn't the Austrian position be to agree with the OP?
Doesn't it hold economics to be a subdivision of praxeology?

I think Austrians would argue that economics is scientific, but that its complexity means that governments can't manipulate it effectively. They believe economics is a pure science that should only be considered on the individual level.

OP is arguing that economics shouldn't even be considered a science all by both individuals and "society."

If you're arguing from first principles, you're not utilizing the scientific method...
"There is an almost universal tendency, perhaps an inborn tendency, to suspect the good faith of a man who holds opinions that differ from our own opinions."

- Karl "Spartacus" Popper
Apollo.11
Posts: 3,478
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
8/13/2012 5:43:50 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 8/13/2012 5:11:25 PM, Steelerman6794 wrote:
At 8/13/2012 4:59:32 PM, Apollo.11 wrote:
Wouldn't the Austrian position be to agree with the OP?
Doesn't it hold economics to be a subdivision of praxeology?

I think Austrians would argue that economics is scientific, but that its complexity means that governments can't manipulate it effectively. They believe economics is a pure science that should only be considered on the individual level.
But Austrians reject the use of scientific analysis and methods in regards to economics and profess the uselessness of empirical data in economic predictions.
OP is arguing that economics shouldn't even be considered a science all by both individuals and "society."
Sapere Aude!
R0b1Billion
Posts: 3,733
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
8/13/2012 6:03:07 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 8/13/2012 2:26:00 PM, DanT wrote:
At 8/13/2012 12:45:38 PM, R0b1Billion wrote:
DanT - do you have any rebuttal to my argument regarding historical figures in philosophy and science?
Yes I do.... Plato would have no clue about supply and demand, because it didn't appear until John Locke, and even than it was not fully developed.

Well if we're talking about Plato, I doubt he'd be very impressed with modern economics - my beliefs tend to reflect his (to the best of my abilities) and he was a minimalist (for lack of a better term). Read Book II of the Republic. I can give you specific passages if you'd like; basically he creates a society from scratch and explains how it would work. IMO, he would find modern society full of luxury and indulgence, and would explain that war and poverty are a result of our unbridled greed for these luxuries. If you read book II you'll see this isn't going very far out on a limb to assume. [http://classics.mit.edu...] He describes a society like ours in "fever heat."

The economy is not based on how we choose to perceive it as individuals, it is based on cause and effect.

That means nothing...

If I think people should not make below a certain wage, that does not mean it can be practically implemented, because implementing minimum wage effects other factors within the economy.

Anything can be implemented by a government that rules with police and military carrying guns.

I think that, when it comes down to it, EVERYTHING is a philosophy on some level.
BS! Look at the definitions I provided for science, and philosophy.

Christians reject science. They choose a different philosophy. This really isn't even arguable...

Even science itself is a philosophy in its own right.
No it's not. Different schools of thought may be philosophy, but the science that lead to that school of thought is not philosophy. That is to say science may influence philosophy, but that does not make science philosophy.

Philosophy is inescapable. Science is no exception. Philosophy sacrifices practicality, but what it loses in that respect it gains in its own ubiquity. Science is the opposite. For all we know, the ultimate discovery of all science, the nature of the universe, could be something completely in line with a religious belief.

Similarly, ANYTHING can be subjected to the scientific method. The question is whether economics is a legitimate science or not. When we turn our backs on biology and chemistry in order to purvey our economic ideals, we have a very big problem.

Please explain this one?

Using the scientific method to study what people like to buy shouldn't replace, for example, biology.

This is clearly a question of philosophy - political philosophy.

Economic science and political philosophy are two separate categories. Political philosophy deals with personal views regarding the the state, whereas economic science deals with how the economy functions and responds to things.

But politicians have a philosophy of employing economic principles in lieu of ecological ones (as well as the other "legit" sciences).
Beliefs in a nutshell:
- The Ends never justify the Means.
- Objectivity is secondary to subjectivity.
- The War on Drugs is the worst policy in the U.S.
- Most people worship technology as a religion.
- Computers will never become sentient.
R0b1Billion
Posts: 3,733
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
8/13/2012 7:05:10 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 8/13/2012 6:05:30 PM, darkkermit wrote:
Rob1billion, do you know the difference between normative claims and positive claims?

No, my ignorance is unparalleled. Explain. I know we've beaten around this bush before...
Beliefs in a nutshell:
- The Ends never justify the Means.
- Objectivity is secondary to subjectivity.
- The War on Drugs is the worst policy in the U.S.
- Most people worship technology as a religion.
- Computers will never become sentient.
DanT
Posts: 5,693
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
8/13/2012 11:39:33 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 8/13/2012 4:59:32 PM, Apollo.11 wrote:
Wouldn't the Austrian position be to agree with the OP?
Doesn't it hold economics to be a subdivision of praxeology?

Is astronomy a science? Yes.
Do astronomers try to control celestial objects ? No.

Keynesians are like mad scientists trying to develop a way to control stars.
Austrian economists are like astronomers studying nature of the stars.

Microeconomcs deals with how an individual's behavior and decisions affect the supply and demand for goods and services. Much like how Astrologers try to figure out the relation between celestial objects (such as how stars effect planets).
"Chemical weapons are no different than any other types of weapons."~Lordknukle
DanT
Posts: 5,693
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
8/14/2012 12:02:59 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 8/13/2012 6:03:07 PM, R0b1Billion wrote:
At 8/13/2012 2:26:00 PM, DanT wrote:
At 8/13/2012 12:45:38 PM, R0b1Billion wrote:
DanT - do you have any rebuttal to my argument regarding historical figures in philosophy and science?
Yes I do.... Plato would have no clue about supply and demand, because it didn't appear until John Locke, and even than it was not fully developed.

Well if we're talking about Plato, I doubt he'd be very impressed with modern economics - my beliefs tend to reflect his (to the best of my abilities) and he was a minimalist (for lack of a better term). Read Book II of the Republic. I can give you specific passages if you'd like; basically he creates a society from scratch and explains how it would work. IMO, he would find modern society full of luxury and indulgence, and would explain that war and poverty are a result of our unbridled greed for these luxuries. If you read book II you'll see this isn't going very far out on a limb to assume. [http://classics.mit.edu...] He describes a society like ours in "fever heat."

He was not an economist, he was a philosopher. You should not base economic policy on philosophy. When people based cosmology on philosophy (religion), we assumed the earth was the center of the universe. No good can come of using philosophy as a basis for science.

People are motivated by reward. If there is no carrot to dangle in front of society's nose, than society will no move forward. Electricity is a great example of this.

The economy is not based on how we choose to perceive it as individuals, it is based on cause and effect.

That means nothing...

You are in denial.
If I think people should not make below a certain wage, that does not mean it can be practically implemented, because implementing minimum wage effects other factors within the economy.

Anything can be implemented by a government that rules with police and military carrying guns.

Just because someone can try something, does not mean it would work. Minimum wage does not increase wages, it increases unemployment, and raises the qualifications for hire.
I think that, when it comes down to it, EVERYTHING is a philosophy on some level.
BS! Look at the definitions I provided for science, and philosophy.

Christians reject science. They choose a different philosophy. This really isn't even arguable...

A.) Not all Christians reject science, just the loud ones.
B.) Christianity conflicts with science because Christianity is a philosophy
Even science itself is a philosophy in its own right.
No it's not. Different schools of thought may be philosophy, but the science that lead to that school of thought is not philosophy. That is to say science may influence philosophy, but that does not make science philosophy.

Philosophy is inescapable. Science is no exception. Philosophy sacrifices practicality, but what it loses in that respect it gains in its own ubiquity. Science is the opposite. For all we know, the ultimate discovery of all science, the nature of the universe, could be something completely in line with a religious belief.

Just because some philosophies can be confirmed by science,does not mean science is based in philosophy; it just means the two groups are in agreement.

If a hunter agrees with a doctor that eating meat is beneficial for one's health, does that mean the hunter is a doctor? Or does that mean the doctor is confirming the hunter's assertions?

Similarly, ANYTHING can be subjected to the scientific method. The question is whether economics is a legitimate science or not. When we turn our backs on biology and chemistry in order to purvey our economic ideals, we have a very big problem.

Please explain this one?

Using the scientific method to study what people like to buy shouldn't replace, for example, biology.

You didn't explain anything. How does biology apply to economics? Use an example.

Smoking is bad for one's health, but medical science is a completely different science. Economic does not deal with what is healthy for the consumer, only with consumer trends. The medical effects of a product may effect the demand, once those effects are made aware, but that is about the only impact.

Chemists create all shorts of hazardous synthetic chemicals; are chemists not scientists because they don't consider the impact of their new chemicals on the human body?

This is clearly a question of philosophy - political philosophy.

Economic science and political philosophy are two separate categories. Political philosophy deals with personal views regarding the the state, whereas economic science deals with how the economy functions and responds to things.

But politicians have a philosophy of employing economic principles in lieu of ecological ones (as well as the other "legit" sciences).

Just because someone has a philosophy of how to treat the economy, does not mean their philosophy is practical; its practicality is based in science.
"Chemical weapons are no different than any other types of weapons."~Lordknukle
Ragnar_Rahl
Posts: 19,297
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
8/14/2012 11:39:40 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 8/13/2012 4:31:21 PM, 16kadams wrote:
At 8/13/2012 2:03:39 PM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
Similarly, ANYTHING can be subjected to the scientific method
The scientific method requires experiments where you control relevant variables, impossible in human behavior.

Disagree. Things such as high prices lead to less demand. That's been an observed human behavior in economics
It's observed, but not under controlled conditions. It's so obvious you don't really need science for it, but it's not science.

I think Austrians would argue that economics is scientific
http://mises.org...
"In contrast to the propositions of the (empirical) natural sciences, which must be continually tested against ever new data, and thus can never attain more than hypothetical validity, the propositions of economics concern necessary, non-hypothetical relations and assume apodictic validity."

Any use of the word "Science" for economics by any austrian is in the ancient sense, that applies equally to theology and history as well as biology and physics. It is not intended to denote that economics is subject to the modern scientific method.

Try explaining that to an anthropologist...
I wasn't even under the impression anthropologists had delusions of scientific status? News to me.
It came to be at its height. It was commanded to command. It was a capital before its first stone was laid. It was a monument to the spirit of man.
darkkermit
Posts: 11,204
Add as Friend
Challenge to a Debate
Send a Message
8/16/2012 7:41:40 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 8/13/2012 7:05:10 PM, R0b1Billion wrote:
At 8/13/2012 6:05:30 PM, darkkermit wrote:
Rob1billion, do you know the difference between normative claims and positive claims?

No, my ignorance is unparalleled. Explain. I know we've beaten around this bush before...

Can't tell If this is sarcasm or not. In any event, you are treating the sciences as normative statements so I'll just briefly explain:

positive claims - claims that are descriptive in nature. No value judgement is made.

normative claims - claims that what *should* be. Value judgements are made.

Economics is a positive science, not a normative science. The sciences are positive not normative. You can't go from a positive claim to a normative claim without a value or moral judgement because you can't derive an "is" from a "should".
Open borders debate:
http://www.debate.org...