“Nature’s economy shall be the base for our own, for it is immutable, but ours is secondary. An economist without knowledge of nature is therefore like a physicist without knowledge of mathematics” — Carl Linnaeus
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In this quote, Carl Linnaeus is drawing a comparison between nature’s economy and human-made economy. He states that nature’s economy, or the way nature functions and sustains itself, should be the foundation for how humans build our own economy. However, he acknowledges that the human-made economy is “secondary” or derivative of nature’s economy.
The second part of the quote suggests that an economist without an understanding of nature is incomplete, just as a physicist would be lacking without knowledge of mathematics. Overall, Linnaeus appears to be emphasizing the importance of understanding natural systems and using them as a model or guide for economic policies and decision-making.