3.2 Multiple Perspectives Require Multiple Definitions

Learning Objectives

By the end of this section, you will be able to:

  • Define the term paradigm.

The importance of clarity and directionality becomes heightened when a discipline has more than one potential definition.  The discipline of economics, similar to the other social sciences, does not ascribe to only one definition.  The definition of economics that is utilized by an economist will often depend on the paradigmatic perspective of the economist.

Paradigm – A school of thought.  It represents the boundary of a discipline, framing the types of questions and phenomena that will be analyzed, and the approach or method of study a theorist will employ.

The discipline of economics has more than one paradigm.  Not surprisingly, the discipline of economics also has more than one definition.

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