Mental pictures of parts of reality
Mental pictures of parts of reality Café Hayek: And this fact is precisely why ceteris paribus theorizing is so crucial. Our theories are meant to give us mental pictures of parts of reality. To take mental snap shots of any part of reality that we wish to better understand, we cannot rely upon reality itself to isolate for us those parts of itself – those parts of reality – that we’re most interested in understanding. So we theorize, and in theorizing we economists (as do all scientists) use ceteris paribus restrictions. To use such restrictions is no sign that the scientist really believes that ceteris is paribus - or that ceteris should be paribus. To use such restrictions is simply an unavoidable part of thinking seriously about an ever-changing and complex reality.