Mathematics and academic finance: the role of paradigms
Purpose – Any adequate analysis of the nature of mathematics and its role in sciences necessarily requires fundamental understanding of the world views underlying the views expressed with respect to the nature and role of mathematics. Aims to discuss four general views with respect to mathematics and its role in sciences, corresponding to four broad worldviews. Design/methodology/approach – This paper starts with the premise that any worldview can be positioned on a continuum formed by four basic paradigms: functionalist, interpretive, radical humanist, and radical structuralist. It looks at the current state of mainstream academic finance and notes that it is founded only on the functionalist paradigm. It argues that any view expressed with respect to the nature of mathematics and its role in sciences is based on one of the four paradigms or worldviews. Findings – Emphasizes that the four views expressed are equally scientific and informative; they look at the nature and role of mathematics from a certain paradigmatic viewpoint. Originality/value – Concludes that there are opportunities for mainstream academic finance to benefit from contributions coming from the other three paradigms, if it respects paradigm diversity.
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