Conference (programme): 3rd International Conference Economic Philosophy, June 15th-16th, 2016, AMSE-GREQAM (Aix-en-Provence, France)

The Third International Conference Economic Philosophy will be held in Aix-en-Provence on June 15th and 16th, 2016. This conference is organized by GREQAM, in collaboration with the Philosophy-Economics Network, the International Network for Economic Method (INEM) and the Charles Gide Association for study of history of economic thought. The focus of this international conference is The economic agent and its representation(s).

The complete final program is now available.

Let us remind that the three keynote lectures will be given by:

  • Daniel Hausman, University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • Cristina Bicchieri, University of Pennsylvania
  • John B. Davis, Marquette University and University of Amsterdam.

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Job position: Full-time academic position in philosophy and ethics of economics (Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium)

Full-time academic position in philosophy and ethics of economics at KU Leuven

The Institute of Philosophy of the KU Leuven is pleased to announce a full-time academic position in philosophy and ethics of economics. We are looking for internationally oriented candidates with a strong research record and proven educational competence.

You can apply for this job no later than September 30, 2016.

The Institute of Philosophy offers academic education in English and Dutch, to both graduate and undergraduate students; it has about one hundred doctoral students. The faculty has an extensive national and international academic network and has an excellent library. Please see the Website unit

Duties:

1) Research

The successful candidate will be affiliated with the Centre for Ethics, Social and Political Philosophy and is expected

  • to pursue a research programme at an international level which is mainly concerned with a critical reflection on the economy from a broadly social and ethical perspective.
  • to set up collaborations inside and outside of the research centre, to support and extend its national and international research networks. In this context, the development of close collaborations with the Faculty of Economics and Business of KU Leuven is of particular importance.
  • to acquire competitive funding and supervise PhDs.

2) Teaching

The successful candidate is expected to teach high-quality philosophy and ethics of economics courses. He or she is prepared to teach courses and seminars in Dutch and English, to graduate and undergraduate students both at the Institute of Philosophy and other KU Leuven faculties, more particularly at the Faculty of Economics and Business. He or she will also teach introductory courses in philosophy to large groups of students in Dutch.

Requirements

Candidates are expected to

  • possess a PhD in Philosophy. An additional degree in economics will be considered a strength.The quality of their research in the domain of philosophy and ethics of economics is proven by publications in leading journals and books and through international research experience.
  • have demonstrable qualities related to academic education.
  • have a cooperative attitude and possess organizational and leadership capacities.

Proficiency in English is required.

The official administrative language used at KU Leuven is Dutch. If you do not speak Dutch (or do not speak it well) at the start of employment, KU Leuven will provide language training to enable you to take part in administrative meetings.

Before teaching courses in Dutch or English, you will be given the opportunity to learn Dutch respectively English to the required standard.

Offer

We are offering a full-time employment in an intellectually challenging environment. KU Leuven is a research-intensive, internationally oriented university that carries out both fundamental and applied scientific research. It focuses on inter- and multidisciplinarity and strives for international excellence. In this regard, it actively works together with research partners in Belgium and abroad. It provides its students with an academic education that is based on high-quality scientific research.

Depending on his/her record and qualifications, the successful candidate will be appointed to or tenured in one of the grades of the senior academic staff: assistant professor,associate professor, professor or full professor. In principle, junior researchers are appointed as assistant professor on the tenure track for a period of 5 years; after this period and a positive evaluation, they are appointed (tenured) as an associate professor.

For more information, please contact Prof. G. Van Riel (e-mail: gerd.vanriel@hiw.kuleuven.be), chair of the Appointment Committee of the Institute of Philosophy, Kard. Mercierplein, 2, B-3000 Leuven  or Prof. Bart Raymaekers (e-mail: bart.raymaekers@hiw.kuleuven.be), dean of the Institute of Philosophy, Kard. Mercierplein, 2, B-3000 Leuven.
For problems with online applying, please contact solliciteren@kuleuven.be.
You can apply for this job no later than September 30, 2016 via the online application tool

Downloads :pdf

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PhD thesis defence: Dorian Jullien, June 8th, 2016

On June 8th, Dorian Jullien (Université de Nice Sophia-Antipolis, France) publicly defended his PhD thesis entitled A methodological perspective on behavioral economics and the role of language in economic rationality (in English) in Nice (France). You can access the full manuscript here.

Comitee:

Richard Arena (supervisor), Professor, Université de Nice Sophia-Antipolis
Wade Hands (referee), Professor, University of Puget Sound
Annie Cot (referee), Professor, Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne
Matthias Klaes, Professor, University of Dundee
Guillaume Hollard, CNRS Research supervisor, Ecole Polytechnique
Agnès Festré, Professor, Université de Nice Sophia-Antipolis
Christian Hudelot, CNRS Research supervisor and, Directeur de recherche au CNRS and Professor Emeritus, Université de Nice Sophia-Antipolis

Abstract:

In this dissertation, we propose a methodological perspective on the twofold role of language in economic rationality, economists’ uses of language to theorize it and economic agent’s uses of language to express it, can clarify three main issues (and their connections), underlying the behavioral versus standard economics debates: the issue of the theoretical unification regarding the three dimensions of economic rationality, the issue of interdisciplinarity between economics and Psychology and the positive/normative issue within models of individual behaviors. Regarding the positive/normative issue and the role of language in the behaviors of economic agents, the intention is to provide a constructive criticism of contributions from behavioral as well as standard economists. Following the entanglement thesis of philosopher Hilary Putnam and philosophers-economists Vivian Walsh and Amartya Sen, it is argued that both standard and behavioral economists propose an unsatisfying articulation between the positive and normative dimensions of models of individual behaviors; and that recognizing the entanglement of facts, values and conventions can actually be theoretically and empirically fruitful. Paying some attention to the role of language in the behaviors of economic agents may sometimes show that a seemingly irrational behavior can in fact be defended as rational; hence we argue that, and show how, the implicit axiom — known as ‘description invariance’ — in standard models of individual behaviors preventing the influence of language needs to be weakened (though not dropped entirely), contrary to the positions of most behavioral and standard economists.

 

Dorian Jullien notably published an article entitled “A probabilistic ghost in the experimental machine” (with Nicolas Vallois) in the Journal of Economic Methodology.

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PhD thesis defence: Alexandre Berthe, November 25th, 2015

On November 25th, 2015, Alexandre Berthe (GREThA, Université de Bordeaux, France) has publicly defended his PhD thesis entitled Environmental justice and welfare: an economic analysis of environmental inequalities (in French) in Bordeaux (France).

Comitee:

Matthieu Clément – University of Bordeaux – Supervisor
Pascale Combes Motel – University of Auvergne – Referee
Sylvie Ferrari – University of Bordeaux – Supervisor
Catherine Larrère – University Paris 1-Panthéon-Sorbonne
Gilles Rotillon – University Paris Ouest Nanterre la Défense – President
Alban Thomas – Toulouse School of Economics – Referee

Abstract:

This thesis studies the environmental inequalities in an objective of social justice. The first part offers an interdisciplinary definition of these inequalities in order to catch their multidimensional nature and to show their usefulness in environmental economics and ecological economics. Based on a philosophy of economics perspective, the fairness of environmental inequalities is analysed by using different egalitarian conceptions of justice with a consideration of the existence of other societal objectives. Following this theoretical development, the second part is devoted to an analysis of the issues of access to water and sanitation services in the context of Brazil. After a discussion over the situation related to the water and sanitation sector in Brazil, the socioeconomic and institutional determinants of the access to these services are identified using econometric analyses at the household level. These analyses enable to expose key determinants in the perspective of environmental justice including income level and ethnicity. In addition, they show the role of the state level thanks to the use of multilevel models. By using an indicator of the access to water and sanitation services elaborated through a factor analysis, the inequalities associated to these services are then measured by different methods which correspond to each conception of justice developed in the first part.

 

Alexandre Berthe notably co-edited a special issue of the Review of Economic Philosophy dedicated to “Justice and Environment” (with Sylvie Ferrari) in 2015 (link) and published a paper entitled “Mechanisms explaining the impact of economic inequality on environmental deterioration” (with Luc Elie) in Ecological Economics.

You can find further information on Alexandre Berthe on his personal page.

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Book: Bernt P. Stigum, Econometrics and the Philosophy of Economics: Theory-Data Confrontations in Economics (Princeton University Press, 2016)

Bernt P. Stigum recently published a book entitled Econometrics and the Philosophy of Economics: Theory-Data Confrontations in Economics (Princeton University Press, 792 pages).

Abstract: As most econometricians will readily agree, the data used in applied econometrics seldom provide accurate measurements for the pertinent theory’s variables. Here, Bernt Stigum offers the first systematic and theoretically sound way of accounting for such inaccuracies. He and a distinguished group of contributors bridge econometrics and the philosophy of economics–two topics that seem worlds apart. They ask: How is a science of economics possible? The answer is elusive. Economic theory seems to be about abstract ideas or, it might be said, about toys in a toy community. How can a researcher with such tools learn anything about the social reality in which he or she lives?

This book shows that an econometrician with the proper understanding of economic theory and the right kind of questions can gain knowledge about characteristic features of the social world. It addresses varied topics in both classical and Bayesian econometrics, offering ample evidence that its answer to the fundamental question is sound.

The first book to comprehensively explore economic theory and econometrics simultaneously, Econometrics and the Philosophy of Economics represents an authoritative account of contemporary economic methodology. About a third of the chapters are authored or coauthored by Heather Anderson, Erik Biørn, Christophe Bontemps, Jeffrey A. Dubin, Harald E. Goldstein, Clive W.J. Granger, David F. Hendry, Herman Ruge-Jervell, Dale W. Jorgenson, Hans-Martin Krolzig, Nils Lid Hjort, Daniel L. McFadden, Grayham E. Mizon, Tore Schweder, Geir Storvik, and Herman K. van Dijk.

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Book: Philippe Grill, Enquête sur les libertés et l’égalité (Editions Matériologiques, 2015)

Philippe Grill recently published a book entitled Enquête sur les libertés et l’égalité, vol. 1, n° 1 (Editions Matériologiques, 574 pages).

Abstract: Le projet de Philippe Grill est d’enquêter sur les origines et les fondements des doctrines et théories relatives aux libertés et à l’égalité. Son approche est proprement philosophico-économique, au sens où elle s’appuie sur l’une et l’autre discipline. Cette exploration conceptuelle des théories économiques et philosophiques, des hypothèses qui les fondent, des notions qui les irriguent, ou encore des masses de données empiriques aux interprétations multiples, voire contradictoires, se révèle cruciale car c’est à partir de ces doctrines et théories que sont conçues et promues les organisations sociales et les politiques publiques qui déterminent « dans quel monde on vit », en décrétant le possible et l’impossible en ces domaines. L’ouvrage contribue ainsi pleinement aux débats actuels d’éthique sociale en fournissant les moyens de définir ce que pourrait être une organisation sociale « humaniste ».

En effet, si l’on veut changer le monde, il faut le comprendre… Sereinement, pédagogiquement, c’est notamment à cette compré­hen­sion maximale que nous invite Philippe Grill. La somme encyclopédique qu’il nous propose déploie le panorama d’une philosophie économique où sont convoqués les savoirs contemporains issus de nombreuses disciplines (outre les sciences économiques bien sûr, les autres sciences sociales, la logique, l’épistémologie, les sciences cognitives, les neurosciences, la biologie de l’évolution, etc., ainsi que les engagements ontologiques des nombreux penseurs que l’ouvrage étudie). Ici, point de simple juxtaposition de disciplines, mais une architecture des connaissances qui veut montrer que les conceptions idoines sont nécessairement connexes si l’on entend démêler l’écheveau d’un homo œconomicus authentique, renversant le modèle factice que rabâchent les propagandistes de vulgates économiques outrancièrement simplistes et irréalistes. Ainsi, ce livre est un puissant levier de ce mouvement salutaire.

Cet ouvrage de 2 400 pages se compose du tome 1, dont les volumes 1 & 2 sont à paraître respectivement en octobre  et en décembre  2015, et des 3 volumes du tome 2 à paraître courant 2016.

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Conference (call for papers): 20th Annual ESHET Conference, May 26th-28th, 2016, PHARE (Paris, France)

The 20th Annual Conference of the European Society for the History of Economic Thought (ESHET) will take place in Paris, at University Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, 26-28 May 2016. Proposals for papers or sessions on all aspects of the history of economic thought are welcome.

An abstract of about 400 words for a paper and 600 words for a session should be submitted on the conference website (Submission & Registration http://www.eshet.net/conference/2016) no later than January 18th, 2016. Note that:

a) published papers are not eligible for submission;
b) only one conference presentation is allowed per person (but more than one submission may be accepted, if involving co-authors who are also presenting);
c) session proposals must conform with a standard format (3 papers, 90 min).

Particularly welcome are proposals of papers and sessions that fall into the ESHET 2016 conference theme: “Inequalities in Economic Thought”. However, papers may be on any topic relevant to the history of economic thought, and are not restricted to the conference theme. Inequalities in Economic Thought Recent controversies over the growing degree of inequality in contemporary societies have brought the topic to the fore in economics. The history of economic thought shows, however, that for a long time economists have taken inequalities into account, debating at length their causes, their nature, their potentially positive or negative influence and the possible ways to overcome them. The issues of inequalities confirm the ESHET’s firm belief that the study of the history of economic thought should in no way be disconnected from current issues in economics and beyond, and could in fact help provide historical perspectives on standard views about the subject. Special attention is granted to proposals that have come across economic thought concerning inequalities throughout its history. Such debates include for example:

  • Issues on discrimination related to sex/age/race
  • The relations between inequalities and justice
  • Inequalities and efficiency
  • Inequalities and efficiency
  • Inequalities and economic development
  • Historical perspectives on the measure of inequalities

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Conference (Call for papers): 16th international conference of the Charles Gide Association, April 14th–16th, 2016, BETA (Strasbourg, France)

The 16th international conference of the Charles Gide Association for the Study of Economic Thought will take place at the University of Strasbourg, 14–16 April 2016. This conference is organised by the laboratory Bureau d’Economie Théorique et Appliquée (BETA).

This international conference will propose sessions on the theme “expectations, conjectures and coordination”, although any other proposal in the fields of the history of economic thought and philosophy of economics is also welcome. 

Expectations, conjectures and coordination

Contemporary economic analysis was born with the study of strategic interactions between individuals. At the turn of the 17th and 18th centuries, Boisguilbert placed the issue of the available information and of expectations at the core of his explanation of economic fluctuations. For Boisguilbert, expectations of future prices formed by agents on agricultural markets can prove either stabilising or destabilising, depending on whether the economy is in a situation of free trade or prohibition.

Later, Smith warned us about market exchange: “it is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest”. Here, the issue is about an interpersonal relationship: a consumer who would count on the acquisition of a good thanks to the benevolence of a producer is most likely to see his conjecture invalidated. Satisfying one’s needs through market exchange thus requires accurate forecasting of the behaviour of other agents, which is to forecast their own conjectures.
Nearly a century later, but from a quite similar perspective, Cournot’s law of demand raised the issue of price expectations in the functioning of markets. He established an empirical relation between the price of a good and its demand function: “a commodity is usually more demanded when it is less expensive”. Cournot even went further: not only does each seller anticipate the reactions on the side of the buyers, but he also needs to conjecture about actions on the side of the other sellers. With Cournot, information and expectations henceforth became at the centre of individual decisions. What ensues from this is a conception of market equilibrium as the result of interactions between strategic behaviours established by each other.
With Keynes’s parable of the beauty contest, the coordination mechanism not only applies to the results of other agents’ behaviour, but calls into question the very foundation of these results: how does an individual anticipate that the other individuals will form their own expectations?
Last, with the rational expectations approach launched by Lucas, the issue of strategic interactions has been extended to the coordination between public authorities and private agents.

With this theme, we propose to raise the issue of conjectures and expectations along complementary lines of research. A first line of inquiry, for example, would question the way economists suppose economic agents shape their forecasts. On which basis of knowledge? And which kind of behaviour on the part of the other individuals do they conjecture? A second line of research could investigate how the question of market equilibrium has been addressed in different times and places. How have these expectations led to a specific market result? And how do individuals coordinate themselves in favour of any particular equilibrium? A third line of inquiry, which directly ensues from the previous ones, would address the issue of state intervention. How is the state able to influence the market equilibrium resulting from the interactions between individual decisions in transforming the way these forecasts are elaborated and coordinated?

Submissions of papers or proposals for sessions

Proposals for papers will take the form of an abstract of about 500 words, submitted through the website: charlesgide2016.sciencesconf.org

Proposal for sessions are also welcome, whether they are directly connected with the theme of the conference or not. Contributions will either take place in French or in English; parallel sessions will be organised accordingly.

Deadlines

Deadline for the submission of proposals: 15 November 2015
Notification to the authors: 20 December 2015
Deadline for the sending of contributions: 20 March 2016

Conference website: http://gide2016.sciencesconf.org

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Workshop (programme): Original Fictions, Hypothetical States and Historical Conjectures in Economic Thought, In Honor of Shirine Sabéran, November 13th-14th, 2015, PHARE & LED (Paris, France)

On November 13th-14th, The Charles Gide Association organises a workshop on “Original Fictions, Hypothetical States and Historical Conjectures in Economic Thought” (In Honor of Shirine Sabéran).

The programme of this event is now available.

Argument:

From Plato’s ideal city to Rawls’ original position, including the state of nature of contractualist philosophers or Adam Smith’s primitive state, the use of fictions crosses the history of economic thought. These fictions had long fed into the argument of many authors taking various forms: imaginary states, hypothetical living conditions, conjectures on past history and its progress… Far from being anecdotal, their persisting use raises several questions which concern: – The role of fictions: how and why are authors led to make use of fictions? How do they integrate fictions in their argument? Do fictions serve a descriptive or a normative discourse? – The evolution of fictions: How did they evolve in their forms and their functions? How were fictions the same kind used and adapted for different purposes? – The epistemological status of fictions: do fictions oppose experimentation? Is their use consistent with a historical or a factual analysis? Does it allow to reach a specific form of knowledge, distinct from the usual theoretical abstraction in economics? – The status of economic theory: What do we learn from the use of fiction about our discipline and its relations with other fields of knowledge? Does the ambition of scientificity in economics lead the discipline to disqualify the use of fiction, in contrast with political philosophy which willingly makes use of them? The scientific committee expects contributions in history of economic thought both from economists and philosophers. These contributions could deal with the following topics (indicative and non-exhaustive list):

– Plato’s ideal city in The Republic;
– Thomas More’s Utopia;
– The state of nature in contractualist philosophies;
– The primitive state of Adam Smith;
– The « robinsonades » from economists;
– The conjectural history of economic stages;
– The open society of Popper and Hayek;
– The rawlsian hypothesis of the veil of ignorance.

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Seminar: Caterina Marchionni & Till Grüne-Yanoff, November 2nd, 2015, TINT (Helsinki, Finland)

On November 2nd, Caterina Marchionni & Till Grüne-Yanof (University of Helsinki) will present one of their works in the Research seminar of TINT (from 2.00 to 4.00 pm, University of Helsinki, Snellmaninkatu 12, room 210). The title of their presentation will be “The Ecological Rationality of Behavioural Policies: How to Choose between Boosts and Nudges“.

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