it surely <holds its own> vis-à-vis some parts of economics.

NewAmerica

Banned
Mandarin
Does "it surely <holds its own> vis-à-vis some parts of economics" refer to "it surely is sufficiently competent itself in relation to some parts of economics"? Just a guess. Some nuance here is beyond me.

****************
The world's smartest economists, equipped with the most sophisticated mathematical models and powerful computers that money can buy, did not foresee—or at any rate could not prevent—the financial calamities that struck the United States and the rest of the world in 2008. As philosopher Paul Feyerabend once said: "Prayer may not be very efficient when compared to celestial mechanics, but it surely holds its own vis-à-vis some parts of economics."

-Scientific American

Source
 
  • PaulQ

    Banned
    UK
    English - England
    You are very close: "it surely is sufficiently competent itself when compared to some parts of economics" :thumbsup:

    To hold one's own -> to defend oneself [or one's ideas] vigorously [and justly.]
     

    kentix

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    I think it means "to be as effective (or almost as effective) as".

    If you are in a boxing match with a boxer stronger than you and the match is about even or he is only doing a little better than you then you are said to be "holding your own". You weren't expected to perform that well against him.

    Prayer may not be very efficient when compared to celestial mechanics, but it surely holds its own vis-à-vis is as effective as some parts of economics.

    I think he's basically saying some parts of the field of economics are no better at predicting economic events than random chance (rolling dice?) would yield.
     
    Last edited:
    < Previous | Next >
    Top