Georgescu-Roegen's entropic model: a methodological appraisal
Purpose – This paper aims to tackle in turn the merits and limits of Nicholas Georgescu-Roegen's entropic model, as well as its implications for the methodological discourse in economics. This appraisal of the Georgescu-Roegen's work emphasizes the emergence of the entropic nature of the economic processes as a paradigm à la Kuhn of explanation in social economics. Design/methodology/approach – This work provides a critical assessment of the entropic model's main conceptual pillars, namely the role of mathematical formalism and the natural imagery of irreversibility. This discussion takes them in turn and develops a critique from a methodological point of view. Findings – The focus of this work is that the proposed epistemological reconstruction of economics is vulnerable to attacks from two methodological objections. The first deals with the change of metaphor from the “pendulum” of mechanics to the “hourglass” of thermodynamics. The second refers to the changes this replacement of metaphors brings about as to the relevance of the formalism of the discipline. Originality/value – This material has gathered arguments to show that the intellectual concurrence of the arguments onto the field of physics makes the methodological value of the new paradigm of entropy not transcend into a new logic of reasoning in economics. The limits of this approach stems from the same rationale for which it has got its revolutionary stature: what it proposes consists of a scientific discourse based on a mixture of evolutionary biology, economics and thermodynamics, which may open up new original and insightful perspectives, but which has never been justified on terms of economic nature alone.
Economic models, Economic processes, Research methods
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