Seeks to define the proper role for mathematics to play in economic theorizing by spelling out its limits. Specifically, has the mathematization of economics contributed to its narrowing of scope since the anti‐classical reaction of the 1870s? If so, is mathematics inherently narrow? Or does the modern, and often other‐worldly, treatment follow from the particular way in which mathematics has been applied? To describe “bad” mathematical economics, one must state what kinds of problems its formulations tend to exclude. This paper focuses on “equilibrium” analysis that rules out such real‐world phenomena as instability and economic polarization, thereby diverting attention from the actual structural problems at work.
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