Economics and ontology. Appendix 2

Let us explore the connections between Network Theory and Ontological Economics according to Lawson which I announced in the previous appendix. I want to explore a possible way of understanding the inherently dynamic nature of the social domain.

Each group in a social domain can be in a state of war against any other. The one waging war will try to destroy the other´s network and the defendant will try to make its own network as resilient as possible. In this context I am going to gloss over a produced by the Computer Laboratory the University of Cambrige as I understand it.

The best attack, that is the one which is most destructive, aims at destroying the most central node. This node is the one which belogs to the highest proportion of paths and does not necessarily coincide wit the biggest hub. The best defense against this attack is to convert this central node into a clique and not into a circle. This is the thrust of the tecnical report I am commenting on.

Both expresions, circle and clique, have something in common since they refer to shared interests but the circle is an example of a decentralized node while the clique is an example of a distributed network.

In the case of a circle of say 4 persones, two strikes will suffice to destroy the node and destroy the group if this node happens to be a central one. In the case of a clique more than two strikes are nessary and the difference increases with the number of people belonging to this centraral node.

We may then surmize that the architecture or structure we expect to find in reality is one made up of groups, the most central of which are organized in cliques. But the abovementioned technical report tells us that even if this is the case eventually the attack is successful. Hence the dynamics of networks.

We should then expect that, what ontology takes as a matter of description of deep structure, is in fact what is going to happen, namely that social reality is always going to be dynamic and that the reshufflig will lead to changes in rules and pratices. The rule may be to attack or not to, and the parctices may be different in different groups, some organizing themselves to resits, others to attack.

This is indeed not the only way of thinking about the continuous reshapping of the social domain.

We could have looked to the papers on identity pioneered by Akerloff and Kranton. We would have learned that networks do not grow or the contrary in an obvious way but depending of the costs of resigning your identity and of regaining it. I come to this in the next appendix.

We could also have looked to the sugestions coming from the literature on coalitions formation. Something we would have grasped most probably is that it does not seem to exist a clean way of characterizing any condition of stability of the structure of coalitions.

The way is then cleared if we want to transit it towards the application of Network Theory.

I hope that this way of looking to ontology may be of some help to understand why feminist economics is not a bad approach to understand the nature of our world.