“Unlike technology, … science is a form of curiosity, tempered by the requirement that its investigative activities lead to an accurate picture of things. This aim distinguishes it from many other disciplines, such as pure mathematics. A mathematician may construct a conceptual scheme of great elegance that has no application to reality. Yet that it doesn’t may not affect its [sc. pure] mathematical significance. But science is different. If a scientific idea doesn’t fit the facts it will eventually be discarded despite its ingenuity.” (Stroll 2009: 31).Such is the nature of so many mathematical models in neoclassical economics: elegant models that have zero or virtually zero relevance to real world economies, because their assumptions – such as rational expectations, Ricardian equivalence, representative agents, neutral money, the quantity theory of money, the neutral rate of interest and tendencies to general equilibrium – are inapplicable to reality.
Stroll, Avrum. 2009. Informal Philosophy. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Lanham, Md. and Plymouth.