Looks at the relevance to economic systems of force field equilibrium metaphors. Points out that the force field view of physical reality developed in nineteenth century physics does not necessarily involve homeostasis and reversible time paths. Illustrates the properties of force fields with hysteresis, providing a counter example. Discusses precedents for viewing economic systems as having equilibria haunted by hysteresis, and summarizes and illustrates the implications of applying such an analytical framework to economic systems.
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