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Discussion: Ceteris Paribus Laws & Socio-Economic Machines

Location Manor Road Building (Seminar Room D)

“The law of demand states that as price of a good increase, the quantity demanded of that good decreases, ceteris paribus”

One of the most notable characteristics of the law of demand, and many other laws in economics (eg: supply, diminishing marginal returns) is the qualification at the end: “ceteris paribus.” In English, “ceteris paribus” means “all else equal”, but this is not very informative.

Nancy Cartwright, in her paper “Ceteris Paribus Laws and Socio-Economic Machines” attempts to answer this question. Come and join us as we discuss the ideas in her paper. This session will begin with a presentation that summarise her paper, so do come even if you haven’t read the paper.

We will be in Seminar Room D of the Manor Road Building.

Reference for the paper: Cartwright, Nancy. “Ceteris Paribus Laws and Socio-Economic Machines.” In The Economic World View: Studies in the Ontology of Economics, edited by Uskali Mäki, 275–92. Cambridge University Press, 2001.

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