Economic Science

  • Ricardo F. CrespoEmail author
Part of the SpringerBriefs in Philosophy book series (BRIEFSPHILOSOPH)


This chapter posits a classification of two complementary notions of economics, also associated with different forms of rationality. First, “economic theory” focuses on ‘the economic’ in its precise proper meaning. Its “material subject-matter” (the field of reality it deals with) is economic reality, and its formal subject (the perspective of analysis of the material subject-matter) is the intention to maximize instrumental rationality. Second, “political economy”, whose material subject-matter is ‘the economic’, has a broad formal subject, including instrumental and practical rationalities used to approach its material subject. It is a practical science in the classical sense of the expression. These two notions of economics are complementary.


Conceptions of economic science Economics and rationalities Economic theory Political economy 


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© The Author(s) 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyUniversidad Nacional de Cuyo and Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y TécnicasMendozaArgentina

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