Авторы: 147 А Б В Г Д Е З И Й К Л М Н О П Р С Т У Ф Х Ц Ч Ш Щ Э Ю Я

Книги:  180 А Б В Г Д Е З И Й К Л М Н О П Р С Т У Ф Х Ц Ч Ш Щ Э Ю Я


8.3 Taxonomy

A precise taxonomy is a necessary precondition for all scientific enquiry. All

too often, common words used in economics have a multitude of connotations.

Consequently, many of the arguments among economists often involve

semantic obfuscation where participants are using the same words to connote

different meanings or, even worse, the same participant uses the same word

to suggest different concepts at various points of their argument. Nowhere is

this more obvious than in the use of the word ‘money’ in economic discussions.

To avoid such semantic confusion, it is necessary to provide a dictionary

of oft-used, and misused, words up front to explain exactly what the concept

denotes. For example, how many economists have carefully read and comprehended

Keynes’s definitional Chapter 6 and its Appendix in his General

Theory? Similarly, how many have worked through Chapters 1 and 2 of

Friedman’s (1957) Theory of the Consumption Function and realized that

Friedman defines saving (p. 11) to include the purchase of new durable goods

including clothing and so on while, for Keynes, saving involves the decision

not to purchase durables or non-durables by households? Harrod (1951,

pp. 463–4), with typical lucidity, highlighted the essential nature of Keynes’s

revolution when he wrote:

Classification in economics, as in biology, is crucial to the scientific structure …

The real defect in the classical system was that it deflected attention from what

most needed attention. It was Keynes’ extraordinarily powerful intuitive sense of

what was important that convinced him that the old classification was inadequate.

It was his highly developed logical capacity that enabled him to construct a new

classification of his own.