Every time we look for the meaning of economics in any economics book, never if not, seldom they emphasize this discipline as an art. “An art is a systematic study of knowledge which lays down specific solutions to specific problems”

According to Lord J.M.Keyens, “An art is a system of rules for the attainment of a given end. The object of art is the formulation of percepts immediately applicable to policy”. Eg When we study our society, we speak of people that comprise it. Therefore, it is in itself an art as we also study the interactions of people in the society. In other words, it becomes an art when we apply the concepts and theories of economics in solving the problems of people living in the society. When we say how subsidy from the government be allocated such as by location or region to the residents of a city or municipality where they live in; and the degree of satisfaction every resident of a city or municipality derived we are dealing with economics as an art.

The practical aspect of art distinguishes it from science which may merely be theoretical as according to Prof Cossa, “A science teaches us to know, an art teaches us to do. In a word science explains & expands & art directs & imposes percepts or proposes rules.”

Applying this definition we find that economics is in certain respects an art as well. There are several branches in economics which offer practical guidance in the solution of economic problems. eg. The theory of consumption provides us the well known law of substitution which shows the consumer how to maximise satisfaction from his given expenses. Economics helps policy-making\formulation. Therefore economics a science & art simultaneously.

According to some, it is only by treating economics as a science that we can build up its scientific status. According to them the function of economics is simply to explain & expand & not to lay down percepts for the attainment of given ends. This however is a narrow & restricted attitude.

By treating economics as a science & art simultaneously its scientific status would not suffer, in fact it would be favourable because every science has an ‘Art’ and / or a` practical side’; while every art has a `scientific’ or a `theoretical’ side to it. As Prof Cossa states, “science requires art; art requires science; each being complementary to the other. Therefore economics is both a science & art at the same time.

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Posted in General Economics