A depiction of "toolism" method of modern econophysicists according to German economist Egmont Kakarot-Handtke. [2]
In hmolscience, toolism, a tending-to-be pejorative term, refers to the use of supposed powerful physics tools, i.e. established equations, principles, and or laws, in economics or sociology, and particularly in econophysics. [1]

The term "toolism" was coined in 2013 by German economist Egmont Kakarot-Handtke who, in his article ‘Toolism! A Critique of Econophysics’, compares the latest breed of econophysicists, or toolists, as he calls them, and their grabbing of equations and tools from physics to the overtypical Arnold Schwarzenegger role of being the hero who breaks into a gun store, grabs the most suitable device—such as the phase plasma rifle in 40 watt range—with the maximum fire power and thereafter relinquishes the enemy, after which in the sequel humankind will, supposedly, be better off. [2]

The latest toolist, according to Kakarot-Handtke, is French physicist Jean-Philippe Bouchard, who in his 2009 article ‘The (Unfortunate) Complexity of Economy’ argues that the powerful tool of the Curie-Weiss mean-field approximation, will soon revolutionize economics and the social sciences:

“Whereas the simple Curie-Weiss mean-field approximation for homogenous systems is well known and accounts for interesting collective effects, its heterogeneous counterpart is far subtler and has only been worked out in detail in the last few years. It is a safe bet to predict that this powerful analytical tool will find many natural application in economics and social sciences in the years to come.”

The term was used in American electrochemical engineer Libb Thims’ 2013 University of Pitesti socioeconomic physics talk as a word to the wise, with the suggestion that to remedy toolism one would be keen to study the works and pitfalls of the classic and modern social Newtons. [2]

The following are related quotes:

“When concepts are transferred from physics to social sciences, the underlying analogy is often unsound, but by systematic analysis, the analogy can be made sound, and the increased understanding thus achieved can create powerful tools and concepts which are adequate for their new employment. Though part of the study may proceed through analogy, in the end the analogy must be thrown away.”
Alan Wilson (1969), “Notes on Some Concepts in Social Physics” [3]

1. Kakarot-Handtke, Egmont. (2013). “Toolism! A Critique of Econophysics”, MPRA, Apr 30.
2. Thims, Libb. (2013). “Econoengineering and Economic Behavior: Particle, Atom, Molecule, or Agent Models?” (video, 1:33-min) (article, 40-pgs) (PowerPoint, 36-slides), Key speaker talk delivered at the University of Pitesti Econophysics and Sociophysics Workshop (UPESW) / Exploratory Domains of Econophysics News (EDEN V). University of Pitesti, Pitesti, Romania, Jun 29.
3. Wilson, Alan. (1969). “Notes on Some Concepts in Social Physics” (abs), Regional Science, 22(1): 159-93.

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