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Econophysics as a Cause of a Scientific Revolution in Mainstream Economics

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The aim of this article is to establish whether econophysics can cause a scientific revolution and fundamentally change the image of mainstream economics. Science development processes were carefully analysed by Kuhn, who even created a specific vocabulary for it. The most important phrases include paradigm and scientific community. When comparing the disciplinary matrices of econophysics and economics, it has to be stressed that despite the absolute compatibility of the goals of both sciences, econophysics is not - as postulated from time to time - a new econometric approach that entails the application of physics in studies of economics, but rather it is a scientific field totally different from economics. The disproportion between the disciplinary matrices of both sciences regards such elements as symbolic generalisations, models, values, and exemplars. Therefore, it seems that progressive accumulation of knowledge in economics will reveal new anomalies as well as deepen existing ones, making a paradigm shift inevitable. A scientific revolution should be expected at an international level, and in such countries as Poland it will be external and forced. The reasons for that lie in psychology and history. In 1989, in Poland and in other post-socialist countries, a rapid change in the disciplinary matrix of economics occurred and involved the replacement of the socialist economic paradigm with the capitalist economic paradigm. Another scientific revolution of such nature is right around the corner and entails replacing the disciplinary matrix of economics with the transdisciplinary matrix of econophysics. Since Polish economists have tried very hard to resist such a great number of changes, the paradigm shift will require deep involvement and much work from young scholars.
  • Institute of Economics, Polish Academy of Sciences, Palace of Culture and Science, Pl. Defilad 1, PL-00901 Warsaw, Poland
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