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Sunday, February 24, 2013

I Don't Care Whether the Keynesian Cross Is Realistic

when I go to teach it. Why not?

For the same reason I wouldn't care that there are no frictional surfaces if I were teaching physics. I am trying to teach my students how to use a model, and how models do (and don't) relate to reality.

Really, any simple model would do. I very explicitly tell my students, "I am not trying to convince you that the economy works this way... or that it doesn't. I am trying to teach you how to use a model of the economy in order to think about the economy."

I think in beginning physics we could use Aristotelian models, just to get them going, and no real harm (and maybe some good) would be done.

2 comments:

  1. "I think in beginning physics we could use Aristotelian models, just to get them going, and no real harm (and maybe some good) would be done."

    Do you think Aristotle could have gotten physics 'more correct'? Or are experimental observations absolutely necessary?

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    Replies
    1. Not sure what you are asking. Aristotelian physics are, in fact, the physics of common-sense empirical observation. (E.g., if you want something to keep moving, you have to keep pushing it.)

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