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"A vague idea" and "an open mind" are not quite the same thing, though.

The raison d'etre of science is to provide universal answers. I find it very hard to imagine a "contemplative" approach that provides universality. That is not to say that contemplation is not interesting, but it cannot meaningfully be called science.

(Mig has a good Keynes quote saying something similar about economics and Queen Victoria...)

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Thu Jun 4th, 2009 at 04:22:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
From The General Theory:
But the proper place for such things as net real output and the general level of prices lies within the field of historical and statistical description, and their purpose should be to satisfy historical or social curiosity, a purpose for which perfect precision--such as our causal analysis requires, whether or not our knowledge of the actual values of the relevant quantities is complete or exact--is neither usual nor necessary. To say that net output to-day is greater, but the price-level lower, than ten years ago or one year ago, is a proposition of a similar character to the statement that Queen Victoria was a better Queen but not a happier woman than Queen Elizabeth--a proposition not without meaning and not without interest, but unsuitable material for the differential calculus. Our precision will be a mock precision if we try to use such partly vague and non-quantitative concepts as the basis of our quantitative analysis.


The brainless should not be in banking. — Willem Buitler
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Jun 4th, 2009 at 04:25:47 AM EST
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