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Definition of [the Philosophy of Science term] atomism.

Definition of [the German philosophical term]

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Definition by Dialectogram: [Dialectic of the] convolute vs.

It will be seen in subsequent chapters that the classification of definitions of the economic point of view into Types A and B is far from an exhaustive one. The voluminous literature since the turn of the century dealing with the problem of definition reveals, indeed, the entire range of formulations that are discussed in this essay. Nevertheless, it remains true that the most outstanding development in the history of the problem is the switch from the search for a department of human affairs to which the adjective “economic” applies, to the search for the appropriate of affairs in which economic concepts are of relevance. (It should be noticed that almost all the numerous formulations of the specific point of view of economic science are considered by theirauthors, not as describing a new science, but as offering a more consistent characterization of the existing discipline.) The emergence of the Type B definitions is reflected in a considerable body of literature on the continent as well as in the English–speaking countries. Type A definitions are treated in the second chapter of this essay, and the transition to Type B definitions is traced in the sixth chapter. Type B definitions are associated especially with the name of Professor Robbins, whose work of 1930 has had an outstandingly stimulating effect on all subsequent discussions.

Definition of the term Dark Age.

But Marshall was well aware of the misleading character of such a definition, in so far as the of economic activity is concerned. In his inaugural lecture he said:

Definition of the term diachronic.

Definition of [the unit known as] ‘a dialectic’.

Ultimately these attacks and the consequent pronouncementsrejecting the concept of economizing as a criterion for defining the nature of economic phenomena provide yet another instance of the similarities between the conception of economics as a science concerned with economizing and the conception of it as a science concerned with maximization. Writers in the eighties of the last century who had considered the essence of economic behavior to consist in the impulse toward maximization had found themselves vulnerable to the objection that this propensity characterizes human activities. The fact that economizing, like maximization, is an operation capable of being performed in widely differing situations means that the use of such a concept as a criterion for defining the nature of the economic cuts across many traditional boundaries. But clearly if a definition is to be rejected as too wide, some area must be accepted as the standard of reference. The stress that economists in the past have laid on the phenomena of the market as the area to which their researches applied makes suspect a definition that sees an essential economic unity existing in activities ranging far beyond this area.

The former of these two implications led to immediate attacks on Robbins' definition condemning it as being far too wide, i.e., as bringing within the scope of economics phenomena in regard to which the economist has no professional competence and to which economists have historically paid no attention whatsoever. Some writers have tended to see in this alleged shortcoming an opportunity to indulge their wit in describing the problems—whether literary controversies, games of chess, or even affairs of the heart—with which Professor Robbins, on the basis of his own definition of economics, should, as an economist, be equipped to deal.

Definition by Dialectogram: [Systematic] Dialectic of the evolute vs.

Definition by Dialectogram: Dialectic of the Cosmos as a whole, Its driving ‘Intra-Duality’.

From this point of view the formulation of the nature of the economic in terms of the allocation of scarce means among competing ends occupies a rather special position. This definition, discussed at length in the previous chapter, differs from the rest in its approach to the problem. It defines an aspect of human activities in general; it does not look for the key to economic phenomena in the specific of activity with which they are mostly concerned. In finding the economic aspect of activities in general to consist in concern with the ends-means relationship, this conception too includes within its scope kinds of actions with which economics has had traditionally little to do. From the praxeologicalstandpoint, in fact, the idea of economizing scarce means in allocating them among alternative ends, when used as a criterion for defining the domain of the economic, is nothing but a convenient, though artificial, framework in which human actions can be analyzed. The allocation among competing goals is a technical concomitant of a good deal of purposeful behavior. Human action frequently call for carefully apportioning scarce means among competing projects. In a formal sense it is even possible to consider human action as consisting in such allocation; but this involves the kind of artificiality in the conception of ends and means with which Professor Robbins' definition was charged. The principal merit of the latter is thus its implicit dependence on the concept of human action; its apparent inadequacies stem from its attempt to consider action as conforming to a particular technical pattern. Much of the criticism Robbins' definition received will be seen to dissolve when his conception of economics is related more clearly to the idea of human action. The allocation of scarce means among alternative ends simply signifies the consistent pursuit of ends, the consistent pursuit of the more highly valued ends taking precedence over the fulfilment of the less highly esteemed ends. It means, in fact, the exercise of the human faculty for purposeful action.

Economic theory has traditionally dealt with the phenomena of the market, prices, production, and monetary calculation. In these spheres of human activity, theorists have developed constructions that help to explain the regularities these phenomena evince and to bring into clear focus the tendencies for change in thesephenomena consequent upon given autonomous changes in the data. Writers on economics have striven to present precise definitions of the scope of this discipline. From the point of view of praxeology, the earlier attempts suffered from their tendency to seek for the defining criteria in the nature of the specific affairs with which market phenomena are concerned. The consequence of these searches was the series of formulations examined in the earlier chapters of this book. The subject matter of economics came to be connected with the material things that are the objects of traffic in the market; it came to be linked peculiarly with the use of money in market transactions or with the specific social relationships that characterize the market system. Where writers came closest to the recognition that these criteria were only accidental characteristics of the affairs upon which economic analysis could be brought to bear, where they were able to glimpse the congenerousness of the specifically economic type of analysis with the underlying of men, they were unable to follow this clue to the conclusion to which it pointed. Precisely because those features in action that made it susceptible of economic analysis seemed common to human activities, these writers were driven back to look for some other defining characteristic. And this meant again the search for some arbitrary quality to justify selecting the particular slice of pie that made up economic theory; but it meant in addition the relegation yet further into the background of the true recipe of that larger pie from which their conception of economics was being arbitrarily hacked.

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  • Definition: Dialectic as ‘Meta-Pythagorean’ Universal Theory of

    Definition by Dialectogram: [Systematic] Dialectic of the diachronic vs.

  • Definition: Dialectic of ‘The Set of All Objects’.

    Definition by Dialectogram: Dialectic of the Dialectical Arithmetics, 1st Triad.

  • Definition: Dialectic of ‘‘‘The Set of All Sets’’’.

    Definition by Dialectogram: Dialectic of the Dialectical Arithmetics, 2nd Triad.

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Definitions: [Goedelian] Dialectic of the Standard Arithmetics, ‘‘‘

This view seems to be the most extreme form of the materialistic outlook on economic affairs. The distinctive feature of all conceptions of economics as a science of wealth or of material goods, as against alternative conceptions of the discipline, consists in their identification of economics with some special of human action. Not all action is subject to economic law, but only such action as is directed towards a more or less well–defined class of objects, viz., wealth or material goods. Most of the definitions advanced during the greater part of the nineteenth century can be considered as variants of this view. The earlier ones saw economics as concerned with the results achieved with regard to these ends themselves, its enquiries being directed at describing the phenomena of this desired wealth. The later, less objectivistic definitions looked at economics, as will be seen in subsequent chapters, as a description of man in one department of his activities—that directed towards, or pertaining to, the desired wealth.

Definition of the term ‘dialectical

When economics is narrowed down still further by restricting it to the study of the goods necessary for human survival, the relevant range of human ends is contracted to the point where the term “end” begins to lose its meaning. No matter how objective a view one had of the wealth around which political economy was supposed to revolve, it was extremely difficult to close one’s eyes to the fact that wealth is wealth only because it is desired by human beings, i.e., that it is an end of human endeavor. But when the only parts of wealth permitted to come into consideration are biological necessities, then it is dangerously tempting to considerthese necessities as not being the ends of human desire at all. Instead of being goods brought under the play of market forces by being the goals of human aspirations, these necessities gain their economic relevance purely objectively, by being the physiologically determined causes of quasi–biological tropisms. And this, indeed, is the direction towards which a number of “subsistence” definitions of economic phenomena have tended.

Definition of the term ‘dialectical combinatorics’.

In the social production which men carry on they enter into definite relations; these relations of production correspond to a definite stage of development of their material powers of production...The mode of production in material life determines the general character of the social, political, and spiritual processes of life.

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