Sir, Mark Hudson (Letters, Oct. 3) is certainly correct that “economics is not a science.” Nothing could be clearer than that! But he exaggerates in asserting that economics is “a subsidiary branch of politics.” Rather, economics and politics are in actual experience always mixed together. The old term “political economy” captures the reality nicely.

Mr. Hudson is also right that the tenets of political economy are inevitably based on some psychological generalisation — going back to Chapter 2 of The Wealth of Nations and “a certain propensity in human nature . . . to truck, barter, and exchange.” For this propensity, we should be ever grateful.

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