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Engineering Economics

  • Gianfranco Tusset
Chapter

Abstract

The Galilean economists of the nineteenth century revealed novel traits compared with eighteenth-century scholars. Though they graduated mainly in law, the academics discussed here made explicit reference to Galileo as the ideal scientist, while retaining an empirical view of political economy. The keywords of this episode—statistics, mathematics, complexity, experimentalism, observation, but also pragmatism, factories, and labor—chart a trajectory that raises some questions about a research field aspiring to use strict tools in researching empirical laws. As the protagonists of this episode, economists mainly evoked the experimental dimension of the Galilean trinity, but the appropriate use of mathematics represented their true frontier. Experimentation and observation were considered as parts of the statistical practice. In the era of deep-rooted positivism, did they succeed in conducting a rigorous (i.e. scientific) analysis of social and economic reality that could be condensed into statistical data?

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gianfranco Tusset
    • 1
  1. 1.University of PadovaPadovaItaly

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