chắc chắn ít nhất là một nửa của phương trình, vì nó phải được tâm thần trong nhân vật. Cân nhắc sẽ được quyết định như vậy vì nó được thực hiện cho rằng định nghĩa của ectmatter subj Kinh tế đề nghị trong bài tiểu luận này là đúng. | V ECONOMIC GENERALISATIONS AND REALITY 105 tests of its logical consistency are often different from the methods of the natural sciences. But it does not follow in the least that its generalisations have a merely formal status that they are scholastic deductions from arbitrarily established definitions. Indeed it may be urged that on the contrary there is less reason to doubt their real bearing than that of the generalisations of the natural sciences. In Economics as we have seen the ultimate constituents of our fundamental generalisations are known to US by immediate acquaintance. In the natural sciences they are known only inferentially. There is much less reason to doubt the counterpart in reality of the assumption of individual preferences than that of the assumption of the It is true that we deduce much from definitions. But it is not true that the definitions are arbitrary. It follows too that it is a complete mistake to regard the economist whatever his degree of purity as concerned merely with pure deduction. It is quite true that much of his work is in the nature of elaborate processes of inference. But it is quite untrue to suppose that it is only or indeed mainly thus. The concern of the economist is the interpretation of reality. The business of discovery consists not merely in the elucidation of given premises but in the perception of the facts which are the basis of the premises. The process of discovering those elements in common experience which afford the basis of our trains of deductive reasoning is economic discovery just as much as the shaking out of new inferences from old premises. The theory of value as we know it has developed in 1 See the classical discussion of this matter in Cairnes Character and Logical Method of Political Economy 2nd edition pp. 81-99. See also Hayek Collectivist Economic Planning pp. 8-12. 106 SIGNIFICANCE OF ECONOMIC SCIENCE CH. recent times by the progressive elaboration of deductions from very simple .

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