CAMREC: Power-laws, teleology and econophysics boundary="=====================_3037698==_.ALT"

From: the Campaign for Real Economics (camrec@mmu.ac.uk)
Date: Sun Mar 25 2001 - 07:16:20 BST

  • Next message: the Campaign for Real Economics: "Re: CAMREC: Power-laws, teleology and econophysicsboundary="

    Received: by alpheratz.cpm.aca.mmu.ac.uk id HAA27805 (8.6.9/5.3[ref pg@gmsl.co.uk] for cpm.aca.mmu.ac.uk from fmb-majordomo@mmu.ac.uk); Sun, 25 Mar 2001 07:26:28 +0100
    Message-Id: <200103250626.HAA27805@alpheratz.cpm.aca.mmu.ac.uk>
    Errors-To: b.edmonds@mmu.ac.uk
    Precedence: bulk
    Reply-To: camrec@mmu.ac.uk
    Sender: fmb-majordomo@mmu.ac.uk
    To: CAMREC list members <camrec@mmu.ac.uk>
    From: the Campaign for Real Economics <camrec@mmu.ac.uk>
    Date: Sun, 25 Mar 2001 00:16:20 -0600
    Subject: CAMREC: Power-laws, teleology and econophysics boundary="=====================_3037698==_.ALT"
    

    --=====================_3037698==_.ALT

    Power-laws and teleology:

    I've been interested in Econophysics for some time, seems a natural way to
    view human activity. I've been surprised by the lack of interest expressed
    by economists, though.

    It seems that blending economics and physics may have deeper philosophic
    differences than I thought. Economics must explicitly acknowledge that
    competitive agents act with 'intent.' Physics has no formal notion of
    'agent intent.' The existence of intent adds teleology and metaphysics
    prior to the epistemological level. I doubt that physics even uses the
    notion of 'agents', there are only 'objects.' On a billiard table, one only
    needs initial conditions to predict system behavior. The billiard balls
    have no 'intent.' Teleology has been exorcised from physics.

    This leads me to ask what it is that we demonstrate when systems of
    'intending agents' and' un-intentional objects' both exhibit power-law
    distributions. Power-law distributions are regularly seen in biological
    populations, human societies and quantum physics. What does it mean for a
    stockmarket to display power-laws despite the high degree of freedom agents
    possess, where every agent seems to have complete freedom to pursue any
    strategy (including withdrawal)? Can we construct a mechanistic simulation
    model that successfully demonstrates agent behavior in both intentional and
    unintentional styles?

    It looks like this is the same problem facing molecular biologists. They
    can describe every reaction in terms of pure (unintentional) physical
    chemistry, but this begs the question of where intentionality emerges? At
    what point can one hook intentionality to an organizational unit?

    We don't have any trouble assigning intention to humans. Most would say
    dogs and cats have intentions. Some would say the heart intents to pump
    blood and lungs intend to obtain oxygen from the air. A few might say white
    blood cells intend to destroy foreign proteins. Personally, I'd have a hard
    time ascribing intention at a lower level than a cell, but others go much
    further.

    Where is the epistemological justification for an econophysicist to hook
    intention to simulated agent?
    --=====================_3037698==_.ALT

    <html>
    <font face="Times New Roman, Times" color="#800000">Power-laws and
    teleology:<br>
    <br>
    </font><font face="Times New Roman, Times">I've been interested in
    Econophysics for some time, seems a natural way to view human
    activity.&nbsp; I've been surprised by the lack of interest expressed by
    economists, though.&nbsp; <br>
    <br>
    It seems that blending economics and physics may have deeper philosophic
    differences than I thought. Economics must explicitly acknowledge that
    competitive agents act with 'intent.' Physics has no formal notion of
    'agent intent.' The existence of intent adds teleology and metaphysics
    prior to the epistemological level.&nbsp; I doubt that physics even uses
    the notion of 'agents', there are only 'objects.' On a billiard table,
    one only needs initial conditions to predict system behavior. The
    billiard balls have no 'intent.'&nbsp; Teleology has been exorcised from
    physics.<br>
    <br>
    This leads me to ask what it is that we demonstrate when systems of
    'intending agents' and' un-intentional objects' both exhibit power-law
    distributions. Power-law distributions are regularly seen in biological
    populations, human societies and quantum physics. What does it mean for a
    stockmarket to display power-laws despite the high degree of freedom
    agents possess, where every agent seems to have complete freedom to
    pursue any strategy (including withdrawal)? Can we construct a
    mechanistic simulation model that successfully demonstrates agent
    behavior in both intentional and unintentional styles?<br>
    <br>
    It looks like this is the same problem facing molecular biologists. They
    can describe every reaction in terms of pure (unintentional) physical
    chemistry, but this begs the question of where intentionality emerges? At
    what point can one hook intentionality to an organizational unit? <br>
    <br>
    We don't have any trouble assigning intention to humans. Most would say
    dogs and cats have intentions. Some would say the heart intents to pump
    blood and lungs intend to obtain oxygen from the air. A few might say
    white blood cells intend to destroy foreign proteins. Personally, I'd
    have a hard time ascribing intention at a lower level than a cell, but
    others go much further. <br>
    <br>
    Where is the epistemological justification for an econophysicist to hook
    intention to simulated agent? </font></html>

    --=====================_3037698==_.ALT--



    This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Sun Mar 25 2001 - 07:26:30 BST