The fallacy of misplaced concreteness


The phrase comes from the work of the brilliant Alfred North Whitehead. And it is on display here, where Noah Smith asks economists:

"To determine whether QE's failure to cause inflation is caused by a Williamson model..."

Yes, economists' models of real-world phenomena might be the cause of such phenomena!

2 comments:

  1. In context, I think you're treating Noah a bit unfairly. What he obviously means is, "the type of thing Williamson's model is capturing, or secular stagnation, or some other cause"

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    Replies
    1. Maybe, maybe... But if I'm wrong here, I'm right about this in lots of cases: Think of how many people would say that the law of gravity causes objects to fall to earth.

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