The Essence of Growth
The Nobel Committee gives a prize in economic sciences. And economists, many of whom call themselves “quants” for their reliance on quantitative methods, rely heavily on mathematics. But the essence of economics is neither scientific nor mathematical. It is psychological, social, cultural, historical and political. (For this construct, I am indebted to Martin Heidegger’s essay “The Question Concerning Technology” (1962) which warns that “the essence of technology is by no means technological.”)
This terrain–non-“scientific” economics looks familiar to citizens in a democracy: Few ultimately “right” answers exist; instead, various “right” answers, all of which seem to raise new questions, conflict with one another.