Revista de Economía Institucional
Print version ISSN 0124-5996
RUBIANO PAEZ, Néstor. AXIOMATICS OR EMPIRISM? ON THE USE OF MATHEMATICS IN ECONOMICS. Rev.econ.inst. [online]. 2009, vol.11, n.20, pp. 271-286. ISSN 0124-5996.
The basis of this essay, which analyzes the use of mathematics in economics, is the supposed dilemma between axiomatics and empiricism. The proponents of formalist axiomatics hold that economic phenomena should be explored and expressed with the language of mathematics, because mathematics is a form of reasoning from predefined axioms and because its reflection is more precise and rigorous. Empiricists of realists argue that this methodology cloisters economists in abstract discussions that are not pertinent to real economic problems. The article reviews some fundamental philosophical works and contrasts their arguments with those of economists both persuasions.
Keywords : methodology; epistemology; axiomatics; mathematization.