Article: Yves Meinard, Coq Sylvain & Schmid Bernhard, “A Constructivist Approach Toward a General Definition of Biodiversity” (Ethics, Policy & Environment)

A new article was recently published by the journal Ethics, Policy and Environment (March 2014):

Yves MeinardCoq Sylvain & Schmid Bernhard, “A Constructivist Approach Toward a General Definition of Biodiversity(EPE, 2014, Vol. 17/1, pp. 88-104).

Abstract: Biodiversity sciences witness a double dynamic. Whereas the need for interdisciplinary approaches is increasingly appreciated, most disciplinary studies are still confined to developing operational, discipline-specific indices. We show that a reassessment of the general notion of biodiversity is needed to clarify this situation. We advocate a new approach, according to which the main usefulness of this notion is not to capture quantitatively biological objects or processes, but to organize meaningful and coherent interdisciplinary interactions by constructively criticizing disciplinary studies. We apply this approach to ecological-economic models, in the hope of launching more fruitful critical dialogs between economists and biologists.

Keywords: surrogates, politics and policy, philosophy, economics, ecosystem management.

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Article: Richard V. Adkisson, “Quantifying Culture: Problems and Promises” (Journal of Economic Issues)

A new article was recently published by the Journal of Economic Issues (March 2014):

Richard V. Adkisson, “Quantifying Culture: Problems and Promises(JEI, 2014, Vol. 48/1, pp. 89-108).

Abstract: Recently economists, even many in the mainstream, have come to acknowledge the influence of culture on the economic process. Some, like original institutionalists, have a thorough understanding of and appreciation for the richness of culture and are, therefore, suspicious of any attempt to quantify cultural information. Others, particularly those trained in the use of statistical methods, are anxious to incorporate culture into statistical/quantitative models and may rush to quantify and include cultural information in their models without a full appreciation of the meaning(s) of culture. This paper reiterates the role of culture in the economy, explores several attempts to quantify culture, and reviews a number of papers that incorporate cultural information into statistical analyses. The broad purpose is to evaluate the prospects for incorporating culture into statistical models in ways that respect the richness of culture as it is perceived by institutionalists.

Keywords: culture, empirical analysis, institutional economics.

JEL Classification: B52, C1, Z1.

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Article: Mohammed Ali Khan, “Representation, Language, and Theory: Georgescu-Roegen on Methods in Economic Science” (Journal of Economic Issues)

A new article was recently published by the Journal of Economic Issues (March 2014):

Mohammed Ali Khan, “Representation, Language, and Theory: Georgescu-Roegen on Methods in Economic Science(JEI, 2014, Vol. 48/1, pp. 49-88).

Abstract: Nicholas Georgescu-Roegen was hostile to work in economic theory that is based on the notion of a continuum of agents. In this essay, I use this hostility as a point of departure for an exploration of his views concerning representation, language and theory as they pertain to what he saw as economic science. In particular, I view his methodological stance to the “doing of economics,” as expressed primarily in his epistemological writings, in the light of Richard Wollheim’s reflections on “art and its objects.

Keywords: art and its objects, methodology, nonstandard analysis, penumbral thinking, probability.

JEL Classification: B3, D5.

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Seminar: Claude Gamel, April 16th, 2014, GREQAM (Aix-en-Provence, France)

On April 16th, Claude Gamel (GREQAM, Aix-Marseille University) will present one of his works in the Economic philosophy seminar organised by GREQAM (to 4.30 to 6.30 pm, Meeting room, Campus Ferry, Aix-en-Provence). The title of his presentation will be “Essai sur l’économie de “l’égalitarisme libéral”, Une combinaison sélective des travaux de Rawls, Sen et Kolm“.

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Seminar: John Michael, April 14th, 2014, TINT (Helsinki, Finland)

On April 14th, John Michael (CEU Budapest) is invited in the Research seminar of TINT (from 2.00 to 4.00 pm, University of Helsinki, Main Building, room 12). The title of his presentation will be “A Minimal Approach to Commitment”.


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Conference (programme): Ideal and reality in social sciences, April 9th-11th, 2014, SERG (Caerleon, United Kingdom)

From April 9th to 11th, the Social Ethics Research Group and the University of South Wales will organize an international conference dedicated to “Ideal and reality in social sciences” (Social Ethics Research Group, University of South Wales, Kegie Building, Caerleon Campus, Caerleon NP18 3QT, United Kingdom).

“Theorists are expert at theorising. Should they also be expert at negotiating the challenges of practice? Should practitioners and policymakers listen to them? Or are these two realms best kept at a distance?  The last of a trilogy, this conference will explore relations between normative theorising and critique, and the ‘real worlds’ of social and political practice.

Keynotes: Ingrid Robeyns (Utrecht), Stuart White (Oxford)

70 papers across 2 days of panels on fairness, the family, ethics and policy after the financial crisis, global justice, language, capabilities, dialogue, health, cultural diversity, normativity vis-a-vis objectivity, human nature, oppression, teaching professional ethics, political advocacy, distributive justice, the environment — and a range of angles on the nature, scope and implications of realism and idealism, theory and practice.”

Further information:

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Seminar: François Allison, April 10th, 2014, CES (Paris, France)

On April 10th, François Allison (Centre Walras-Pareto, Université de Lausanne, Switzerland) is invited in the Cercle d’épistémologie économique organised by the economic epistemology department of the Centre d’Economie de la Sorbonne (from 6.00 to 8.00 pm, 106-112 Bd de l’hôpital, Maison des Sciences Économiques, Room S.17, Paris). The title of his presentation will be “Dr. Marx and Mr. Walras” en Russie.

Seminar organised by Annie Cot and Jérôme Lallement.

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Seminar: Virginie Perotin, April 9th, 2014, EthiEco (Paris, France)

On April 9th, Virginie Perotin (University of Leeds, United Kingdom) is invited in the Paris Seminar Ethics and Economics (EthiEco) (from 6.00 to 8.00 pm, Maison de la Recherche, 28 rue Serpente, Paris, 6e, room S001). The title of her presentation will be “Democratic firms and sustainability.

Organizing committee : Franz Dietrich, Isabelle Drouet, Speranta Dumitru, Charles Girard, Stéphane Zuber.

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Seminar: Speranta Dumitru, April 8th, 2014, EHESS (Paris, France)

On April 8th, Speranta Dumitru (Université Paris 5 René Descartes) is invited in the Séminaire de philosophie politique normative organised by the EHESS (from 7.00 to 9.00 pm, EHESS, 105 bvd Raspail (Paris, 6e), room 8). The title of her presentation will be Des chances égales, mais séparées ? L’erreur sédentariste“.

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Workshop: Social evolution, altruism, cooperation, group selection, April 7th, 2014, MESHS (Lille, France)

On April 7th, a workshop on “Social evolution, altruism, cooperation, group selection” will be organised in the Maison européenne des sciences de l’homme et de la société (MESHS) Lille Nord de France (from 13h50 to 17h30, room 2, 2, rue des Canonniers, Lille, near Lille-Flandre and Lille-Europe sub&railway stations).

This event is part of a serie of three Lille-Ghent Workshop on “Darwinism & Social Sciences and Humanities” organised by the Clersé (UMR 8019, University of Lille 1), Savoirs Textes Langage (UMR 8163, University of Lille 1 and 3), the Laboratoire de Génétique et Evolution des Populations Végétales (UMR 8198, University of Lille 1) and the Department of Philosopy and Moral Sciences (University of Ghent)


13h30: Introduction, Gilles Denis
13h40: Cooperation, symbiosis and the emergence of units of adaptation, Minus van Baalen (Éco-évolution mathématique, laboratories «Écologie & evolution», Université Paris 6).
14h10: Mating games. Cultural evolution and sexual selection, Siegfried Dewitte (Faculty of Economics and Business, Catholic University of Leuven).

14h40: Pause

15h10: Cultural evolution and group selection, Cédric Paternotte (Munich Center for Mathematical Philosophy, Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich).
15h40: Contributions and aporias of social evolutionism in anthropology. Sources,characteristics, contemporary extensions, Salvador Juan  (CERREV, Maison de la recherche en sciences humaines (MRSH), Université de Caen).

16h10: Discussion

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