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Learning From the Global Financial CrisisCreatively, Reliably, and Sustainably$
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Paul Shrivastava and Matt Statler

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780804770095

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804770095.001.0001

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Hence God Exists

Hence God Exists

Chapter:
(p.96) 4 Hence God Exists
Source:
Learning From the Global Financial Crisis
Author(s):

Skip McGoun

Publisher:
Stanford University Press
DOI:10.11126/stanford/9780804770095.003.0005

This chapter provides a critique of the mathematization of finance and its disastrous consequences. It argues that beginning in the first quarter of the twentieth century and continuing to date, mathematics has moved from being a tool of analysis to being an end in itself. It notes that finance research and practice uncritically use mathematical models to ineffectively represent reality, which leads to false and ideologically biased conclusions. The discussion suggests that mathematical equations are not axiomatic laws but rather interpretive metaphors. They are not the truth, although they may express useful ideas. Finance professionals need to recognize the limits of mathematics and the metaphors that have been used to implement mathematics in the management of financial systems.

Keywords:   financial systems, mathematics, finance research, mathematization, axiomatic models

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