A subject should have a name or a title that facilitates a clear and correct understanding of its contents. In a subject like Economics,there are many books available with titles such as ‘Introductory Economics’, ‘Economics:An Introduction’, ‘Basic Economics’, ‘Elements of Economics’, ‘Elementary Economics’,‘Fundamentals of Economics’ etc. But these books have the same contents, though each is intended to serve readers of a different levels of interest and capacity.
A good introduction to a subject, besides containing the meaning of its title,should have an explanation of the nature and scope of the subject, i.e., whether the subject is traditional or modern, static or dynamic.The readers should be in a position to clearly classify the subject as belonging to either arts alone, or to science alone or to both. The significance of all the branches of the subject should find a place in it. As they go through the introduction, the readers should be able to understand the relationships of the subject with other subjects. Newer areas incorporated into the subject and the newer ways of comprehending its contents are to be highlighted in the introduction. The
methodologies applied in the derivation
of its laws are to be stated in such an introduction.
Economics : Meaning
The term or word ‘Economics’ comes from
the Ancient Greek oikonomikos (oikos means “households”; and, nomos means “management”, “custom” or “law”). Thus,
the term ‘Economics’ means ‘management of households’. The subject was earlier known as ‘Political Economy’, is renamed as ‘Economics’, in the late 19th century by
Economics: Its Nature
The nature of a subject refers to its
contents and how and why they find a place in the subject. This nature is understood by studying the various definitions given by the notable economists. The existence of multiplicity of the definitions makes some scholars comment that a search for a clear definition of Economics is an exercise in futility.J.M. Keynes, for example, observes that “Political Economy is said to have strangled itself with definitions”. Their presence makes studying a subject interesting,
exciting, enjoyable, or worthwhile. In fact,
their presence in a social science subject
is a clear sign of the growth of the science.
It indicates that there exists freedom for
people associated with such as science
to formulate fresh definitions. These
associates appreciate and make use of the
opportunity afforded to them and come up with a plethora of definitions saying:‘The more, the merrier’. Each definition represents a unique generalisation. A wide variety of definitions paves the way to arrive a near-complete agreement on the subject-matter of Economics.A science grows stage by stage,and at every stage, its newer definition emerges and a concept associated with it receives some special emphasis. However,the study of a subject is made possible when it possesses its clear cut definition and boundary.