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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.
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 Alfred Marshall.
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