Saturday, November 20, 2010

The Validity of Abstract Terms

I have gotten into an argument here about the validity of using the term "wealth." Rodger Mitchell argues that "wealth" is a meaningless term. I argue that economics is the science of wealth creation. If true, this means we need to define wealth. But is that really possible?

Consider the following:

Biology is the science of life.

Aesthetics is the science of beauty.

Natural law is the science of justice.

Psychology is the science of the mind.

Now, define life. Define beauty. Define justice. Define mind.

Is it a coincidence that all our specialized areas of study are of terms we cannot fully define? Is it not then the definition of folly to argue that we should abandon the terms? Or is the point of the science to try to define the terms?
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