How has Physics Influenced the Progress of Economics?

(Pages 2618-2624)

Brahim Dinar1, Fadoua Joudar2,*, Olaya Metwalli2 and Maha Mouabid2
1Faculty of Law, Economics and Social Sciences Casablanca, University of Hassan II, Casablanca, Morocco.
2Faculty of Economics and Management Settat, Hassan First University, Settat, Morocco.


In the history of the conduct of its affairs, economic science has been confronted with the other natural sciences, where exchanges were necessary for the progress of its conceptual apparatus and the completion of its epistemological field through dialogue and permanent communication. Conversely, the hardest sciences have given rise to a real philosophical efflorescence from within. Paul Scheurer speaks of a return of speculative thought in the exact sciences. This had begun at the beginning of the 20th century with Poincaré, Mach, Einstein, Bohr, Born, etc. Beyond the effects of cultural, ideological, and historical constraints on the formation of economic science, this one has indeed been, throughout its history, periodically submerged by waves of immigrants from the natural sciences. And vice versa the economists were always conscious of the necessity of a free disciplinary exchange for the progress of the economy, the hardening of its scientificity, and the enrichment of its conceptual apparatus that imposed fertile cognitive requirements. In their relations with economics, physicists have always migrated to this field to look beyond their disciplinary boundaries, using their methods to study, analyze and advance economic science and help it solve its methodological and epistemological problems. Such is the purpose of econophysics. Indeed, the tools of physics provide an ideal framework for addressing problems in economics. Throughout its history, physics has always held a fascination for economists. The influence of the natural sciences on the content and structure of economic theories covers the period from classical political economy through the marginalist revolution to the present day. Newtonian mechanics was of great use to A. Smith. Desiring to bring order to the chaotic realm of social phenomena, one would think that his contribution to the "social sciences" followed Newton's successful model. Smith was certainly another heir to an intellectual tradition that, with few exceptions, revered Newton and his legacy. Manifestations of the influence of physics on the neoclassical school are most evident in William Stanly Jevons and Irving Fisher. The purpose of this paper is to show how the progress of economic science has always been guided by the discoveries and metaphors of physics and how intrusions between the two disciplinary frontiers are made. How have these influences affected the scientificity of economic science and hardened the conceptual apparatus? Wouldn't imitation risk taking away the moral character of economics? Moreover, wouldn't the innovations in the field of physics be likely to exert other pressures on economists and their research programs? Isn't it time to declare their independence from the field of physics and rethink the scientific status of their discipline? Doesn't the rise of all kinds of crises (financial, ecological, inequalities, poverty...etc.) require the reappearance of a new research program, protected from any falsification by a belt of auxiliary hypotheses?


Economics – Physics – Economic progress- Sciences- Relationship.

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Brahim Dinar, Fadoua Joudar, Olaya Metwalli and Maha Mouabid. How has Physics Influenced the Progress of Economics? . [ref]: vol.21.2023. available at:

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