Resemblances and Disjunctions: Art, Mathematics and Economic Models

Venkatachalam, Ragupathy. 2022. Resemblances and Disjunctions: Art, Mathematics and Economic Models. In: Stratos Myrogiannis and Constantinos Repapis, eds. Economics and Art Theory. Abingdon: Routledge, pp. 103-127. ISBN 9780367615383 [Book Section]

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Abstract or Description

This chapter attempts to explore possible connections between forms of art and economic modelling. It synthesises some common insights across selected works of René Magritte and M.C. Escher. Building on them, it explores their relevance to understand certain aspects of mathematical modelling in the social sciences and especially in economics. It argues for a more prominent recognition and even a celebration of the relatively unsung virtue of modelling: to highlight paradoxes and impossibilities that lie beneath various representations. Despite their subversive character, I argue that creative disjunctions can play an important epistemological role by advancing our understanding of the nature and limitations of models and, at the same time opening up space for new concepts and conjectures. A case for the fruitfulness of such an approach in economics is illustrated by drawing examples from the works of Kenneth Arrow, Piero Sraffa and Vela Velupillai.

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Book Section

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This is an Accepted Manuscript of a book chapter published by Routledge in Economics and Art Theory on 4 August 2022, available online:

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Institute of Management Studies
Institute of Management Studies > Structural Economic Analysis


8 February 2022Accepted
4 August 2022Published

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Date Deposited:

25 Aug 2022 07:32

Last Modified:

26 Feb 2024 13:18


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