We replaced the 2011 ecostory stars by a blue sky...
Ceteris paribus. Cetris what?Ceteris paribus! Don't know what that is?
Never mind! You share that knowledge with many others who don't know neither.
Try. Ask your neighbour. Ask your boss. But be careful. Don't let him get the feeling he's ignorant. It might harm your career.
Ask your professor. Watch his reaction. He may say "Good question!" Which signals that he doesn't really know. He doesn't use the strategy of repeating the question, which gives time and helps finding the answer.
Now since he's an academic, he'll retrieve the notion and then get this triumphant glow in his eyes: "Ceteris paribus means that all other things are staying equal!"
Of course you will try and give him the feeling that you had not doubted he would remember. That's always good.
He will probably ask in return why you asked, because he will have forgotten what "ceteris paribus" is used for.
Be prepared for this moment. Make it seem harmless and unimportant. Blame someone else, someone you met by accident and had asked you when "ceteris paribus" must be applied.
Now your professor has two problems, "when?" and "what for?". The versatile man will suggest you look it up and present it as an exercise for the next seminar.
You google it up and find that it's a professional condition that's used in economic theory. Thinking it over you may find that it's actually a precautionary condition for every theory and method.
Any prediction of a future situation automatically presumes that all other variables remain unchanged, if the main variable is changing.
Preparing the seminar exercise you also ask: When do we use it in everyday life?
One example: I will get home at 6, provided no accident, no traffic jam, etc. - ceteris paribus.
An example from economic theory: Demand will rise when the price is reduced, provided there are still sufficient potential customers, there's no other new product that has the public's preference, etc. - ceteris paribus.
Ceteris Paribus AbsentibusIn these examples "ceteris paribus" was found missing. The "scientists" didn't think of it or found its application too inconvenient.
The WTO by 2022 - ceteris paribus?
A prediction, or a statement about causal or logical connections between two states of affairs, is qualified by ceteris paribus in order to acknowledge, and to rule out, the possibility of other factors that could override the relationship between the antecedent and the consequent. A ceteris paribus assumption is often fundamental to the predictive purpose of scientific inquiry. In order to formulate scientific laws, it is usually necessary to rule out factors which interfere with examining a specific causal relationship. Under scientific experiments, the ceteris paribus assumption is realized when a scientist controls for all of the independent variables other than the one under study, so that the effect of a single independent variable on the dependent variable can be isolated. By holding all the other relevant factors constant, a scientist is able to focus on the unique effects of a given factor in a complex causal situation. Such assumptions are also relevant to the descriptive purpose of modeling a theory. In such circumstances, analysts such as physicists, economists, and behavioral psychologists apply simplifying assumptions in order to devise or explain an analytical framework that does not necessarily prove cause and effect but is still useful for describing fundamental concepts within a realm of inquiry.
Copyright: Greenpeace.org - "Deep Green - September 2008"