Duality of knowledge, singularity of method: The case of econophysics and J.S. Mill’s notion of emergence
Christophe Schinckus & Cinla Akdere
Purpose – How a micro-founded discipline such as economics could deal with the increasing global economic reality? This question has been asked frequently since the last economic crisis that appeared in 2008. In this challenging context, some commentators have turned their attention to a new area of knowledge coming from physics: econophysics which mainly focuses on a macro-analysis of economic systems. By showing that concepts used by econophysicists are consistent with an existing economic knowledge (developed by J.S. Mill), the purpose of this paper is to claim that an interdisciplinary perspective is possible between these two communities.
Design/methodology/approach – The authors propose a historical and conceptual analysis of the key concept of emergence to emphasize the potential bridge between econophysics and economics.
Findings – Six methodological arguments will be developed in order to show the existence of conceptual bridges as a necessary condition for the elaboration of a common language between economists and econophysics which would not be superfluous, in this challenging context, to clarify the growing complexity of economic phenomena.
Originality/value – Although the economics and econophysics study same the complex economic phenomena, very few collaborations exist between them. This paper paves a conceptual/methodological path for more collaboration between the two fields.