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By Edward G. Nawy

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Luckily, in practical terms many of these phenomena are absolutely negligible, but this does not mean they do not exist, demonstrating that the real phenomenon is different from the abstract phenomena we can study. XXXIV * Theory tells us that a mass falling from a great height must deviate to the east of the vertical. There is also a deviation to the south, but it is in the order of the square of the speed of the rotation of the earth, and it is therefore too small to be observed. The deviation to the east falls instead within the limits of quantities we can actually observe.

If we define a thing as ‘pleasing’, provided any one man likes it, only from the actions of that man shall we be able to know what is and what is not pleasing to him; and it is not acceptable, later, to explain those very actions through the pleasure they afford the man. Considerations, I, May 1892 15 The second remark is that it is not enough to give homo œconomicus the quality of being a perfect hedonist, but it is also necessary to decide what qualities of foresight, reasonableness, etc. are to be granted to him.

Walras simply meant to attack those who have the impudence of passing off as demonstrations the expression of their feelings, then he was right. However, his words would rather seem to indicate a wish to lead science on a metaphysical path, where reasoning dominates experience; in this case we must confess that it was his interlocutor who was right, only he did not defend himself well. He should have said that it is from direct observation that we deduce the law about prices rising when demand is greater than supply, and vice versa.

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