Filing Formal Objections: A Polemic

5 Pages Posted: 17 Jul 2006

See all articles by E. Roy Weintraub

E. Roy Weintraub

Duke University - Department of Economics

Date Written: May 2005


For all of the complaints lodged against formalism, the use of mathematics in economics, and the employment of axiomatics in economic theory, there is no evidence whatsoever that the complainers understand the reality of mainstream economics. The complainers are fond of the charge that mainstream economics does not address the real economy and does not address economic reality; they say that mainstream economics is enamored of a make believe or fictitious or artificial neoclassical world. The facts however are exactly the opposite. It is the critics who have no knowledge apparently of what goes on in mainstream economics. They misperceive reality. They have been so busy taking in one another's washing, criticizing and re-criticizing a fifty year old general equilibrium model, that they believe it unimportant actually to open their eyes to see what is going on in mainstream economics.

Keywords: Formalism, heterodox economics, axiomatics, science wars, post autistic economics

JEL Classification: B00, B20, B40

Suggested Citation

Weintraub, E. Roy, Filing Formal Objections: A Polemic (May 2005). Available at SSRN: or

E. Roy Weintraub (Contact Author)

Duke University - Department of Economics ( email )

Durham, NC 27708-0097
United States
919-660-1838 (Phone)
919-684-8974 (Fax)


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