Human ecology

The fallacy of misplaced concreteness
"[Whitehead] defined it as 'neglecting the degree of abstraction involved when an actual entity is considered merely so far as it exemplifies certain categoriesof thought' (1929, p.11). More generally it is the fallacy invloved whenever thinkers forget the degree of abstraction involved in thought and draw unwarranted conclusions about concrete actuality."
(Daly & Cobb, 1990, p.36)
Daly and Cobb analyse four aspects of the faallacy of misplaced concreteness in economics; in the areas of the market, economic measures, the homo economicus model, and in the treatment of land.

Four aspects of the fallacy of misplaced concreteness in economics

The Market

After extolling the strengths of the market (e.g. its ability to handle more information than a centrally planned economy), D&C indentify some of its weaknesses.

Three broad problems with the market (D&C, 1990, p.49)

Avoiding the fallacy (D&C, 1990, pp.41-43)


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Created 27/9/01
Last modified 30/9/01