October 21, 2005 12:18masterSheet number 12 Page number xxIntroduction“ring” which are in everyday use, it is only for the sake of conve-nience.When they name a collection of sets a “filter,” they aredoing so in an associative manner; in principle, they could call it“ice cream cone.” When they use the term “good ordering” theyare not making an ethical judgment. In contrast to mathematics,interpretation is an essential ingredient of any economic model.It is my hope that some of you will react and attempt to changewhat is currently called economic theory, and that some of you willacquire alternative ways of thinking about economic and social in-teractions. At the very least, the course should teach you to ask hardquestions about economic models and in what sense they are rele-vant to the economic questions we are interested in. I hope that youwalk away from this course with the recognition that the answersare not as obvious as they might appear.
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