Thin veneer

After a month in Math Camp listening to Professor Silvestre lecture on Envelope Theorems, homothetic functions, convex sets and what not, it was awkward listening to him lecture on the philosophy of economics for the first hour of the first day of graduate micro on Thursday. As he spoke of “normative vs. positive” economics and on his philosophy of the distinction between micro and macro (there isn’t one… its all micro), his forced smile gave away his desire to dive back into the math.

Luckily, the second half of class was just that. Preference relations and “rationality” (transitivity and completeness) in regards to a choice set started our introduction to modelling rational behavior of individuals (people, corporations or otherwise). And so it begins. Safe again, we are within the certitudes of mathematics.

I suspect that first hour will be the last for such formal discussions of philosophy. It will be up to me to bring economic meaning to such exercises in tautologies that will be taking up my time. I guess I’ll have to teach myself the economics. But how?


1 Response to “Thin veneer”

  1. 1 Gazpacho October 5, 2005 at 8:03 am

    hmm…math camp and 1st year econ grad? i think my roommate is in your class. small world.

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