Seminar: Paul Erickson, October 7th, 2015, HPPE-LSE (London, United-Kingdom)

On October 7th, Paul Erickson (Wesleyan University) is invited in the seminar Historical and Philosophical Perspectives on Economics (HPPE) organised at the London School of Economics (from 1:00 pm, in Tower 2, room 2.03). The title of his presentation will be “The Uses of Theory and the Study of Human Behavior”.

Abstract: This paper reflects on the uses of game theory and related theories of rational choice in the social and behavioral sciences during the later 20th century.  These theories have been extensively critiqued – even by some of their most prominent practitioners – for their perceived descriptive, predictive, or normative failings, and this suggests we should look elsewhere to understand their widespread embrace in the years following World War II.  To date, many histories have pointed to the postwar context (the growth of military funding for the social sciences, or the great ideological debates between communism and capitalist democracy) to explain this phenomenon, but have been less specific in explaining the precise nature of these theories’ appeal to practicing social scientists.  By contrast, this paper examines the way the theory served an essential function in structuring a brand of cross-disciplinary research into human behavior that flourished, for a variety of reasons, in the postwar era.

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Seminar: Christian Lazzeri, October 7th, 2015, GREQAM (Aix-en-Provence, France)

On October 7th, Christian Lazzeri (Université Paris Ouest – Nanterre-La défense) is invited in the Economic philosophy seminar organised by GREQAM (from 4.30 to 6.30 pm, meetings room, Campus Ferry, Aix-en-Provence). The title of his presenation will be “Justice et reconnaissance“.

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Seminar: Wade Hands & J.D. Trout, October 5th, 2015, TINT (Helsinki, Finland)

On October 5th, the topic of the next session of the Agora for Interdisciplinary Debate organised by TINT‘s research seminar will be “Economics, Psychology, and the Good Life” (from 4.00 to 6.00 pm, U40, 2nd floor, room 6). Discutants will be Wade Hands (University of Puget Sound) and J.D. Trout (Loyola University Chicago).

 

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Master programme: Bayreuth Philosophy and Economics MA programme

Departments of Philosophy and of Economics of Bayreuth University (Germany) have launched in 2014 a MA programme: “Philosophy & Economics”.

The Bayreuth MA Programme in Philosophy & Economics is organised and taught by both the departments of philosophy and economics. It is a unique two-year course of studies offering a rigorous and demanding graduate level education in core areas of economics and core areas of philosophy especially relevant to economics. The Programme is taught entirely in English.

The programme is targeted at students with an interest in obtaining an advanced analytical and quantitative training as a foundation for pursuing research-based careers in academia, public service, and business. In designing the degree we had in mind economists and philosophers as well as those with political scientists or those with a background in business or management studies who are intent on sharpening their abilities in normative reflection, on deepening of their knowledge of subjects they have pursued during their Bachelor’s studies, and on broadening and enhancing their methodological skills in key areas relevant to both disciplines.

More about this programme:
http://www.pe.uni-bayreuth.de/pool/downloads_studiengang/pe_ma_brochure.pdf

If you are interested in applying this program do not hesitate to visit the MA programme page and this How to apply? page (with a usefull FAQ).

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Blogs: Bargaining Game & Erik Angner’s Blog

Although the interactions between philosophy and economics give rise to many academic works, researchers somtimes take on their personal time to tackle some topics in a freer way in the form of blog posts. And it is precisely this informal tone which makes all the originality and the interest of these non academic contributions.

Two blogs seem especially deserving to be known and visited:

Bargaining Game

Bargaining Game is a recent blog dedicated to economic philosophy. The author of this blog,  Cyril Hédoin is full professor of economics in the University of Reims Champagne-Ardenne. He “has been for 7 years the main author on a similar blog called “Rationalité Limitée“, exclusively written in French. [He] intends to write essentially about the same topics. The posts should also be similar in their form and their objective: [he] uses the blog essentially as a way to formalize and test ideas, and secondary to communicate on his research (publications, working papers, conferences [he] intends to) as well as on the research by others on topics on which he has some interest ” (text copied-pasted from the presentation page of Bargaining Game).

Erik Angner’s Blog

Simply entitled “Blog”, Erik Angner’s Blog is a also a recent blog dedicated to economic philosophy. Erik Angner is “associate professor of Philosophy, Economics, and Public Policy at George Mason University, [he] thinks of himself as a moral philosopher in the old-fashioned sense of the word. Trained first in the philosophy of science, [he] has a special interest in economic sciences and their relationship to ethics and social and political philosophy.” (text copied-pasted from Erik Angner’s site, tab “home”).

These two blogs have tackled recently the interesting topic to discuss which is the best expression for describing the scholar works at the interaction between economics and philosophy (see Erik Angner’s “In defense of ‘philosophical economics’” and Cyril Hédoin’s “‘Philosophy of Economics’ or ‘Philosophical Economics’“).

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Job position: Post doctoral fellowships, TINT (Helsinki, Finland)

TINT Centre of Excellence in the Philosophy of the Social Sciences (Helsinki, Finland), now the largest centre in its field, is offering two or three new postdoc positions, beginning in January 2016 (or earlier). The positions are up to 2 years.

AREA: philosophy of economics (or neighbouring disciplines), broadly understood (inclusive of social and historical studies of economics in relation to its disciplinary neighbours).

RESEARCH AGENDA OF THE CENTRE: interdisciplinary and intertheoretic dynamics and their role in shaping the future of the social sciences, viewed mainly (but not only) from a philosophy of science point of view. Check the TINT site for more details.

POSSIBLE LINES OF RESEARCH: philosophical / historical / sociological analysis of interdisciplinary dynamics in which economics is involved, such as its (actual or missing) receptive interactions with psychology, neuroscience, sociology etc; its (actual or missing) collaborative relations with other disciplines in applied fields such as environmental research etc; and its expansionist (“imperialist”) intrusions into the domains of sociology, political science, law, etc.

POSSIBLE PROFILES OF CANDIDATES: philosopher of economics interested in any relevant aspect of economics in its interdisciplinary relations; philosopher of some other relevant discipline, such as cognitive science, biology, ecology, anthropology, or law insofar as these somehow engage with economics; (philosophically informed) expert in the social / cultural / historical studies of science interested in relevant aspects of interdisciplinarity in which economics is involved; (philosophically informed) historian of economics specializing in the history of any relevant line of development in economics and its interdisciplinary relations.

We are looking for candidates with relevant top rate competences and a strong interest in TINT themes, and who would enjoy the thriving team life of a collaborative and growing international community of scholars. If you think you have the interest and competence, please send your application to Joonas Ottman with cc to Uskali Maki.

Applications should include:
1. CV
2. Research plan of ca 2000 words, including description of how it relates to the relevant parts (especially theme 4) of the TINT agenda.
3. Sample of writing (eg published journal article)

The deadline is 16 October 2015, but earlier submissions will be appreciated.

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Conference (programme): 25th anniversary of the Centre Walras-Pareto, CWP (Lausanne, Switzerland)

The Centre Walras-Pareto d’études interdisciplinaires de la pensée économique et politique celebrates this year its 25 th anniversary. On this occasion, you are invited to attend to the anniversary conference that will be hold on Friday 16 October in the University of Lausanne (Château de Dorigny, CD 106) from 8h45 to 19h00. The conference will be followed by a dinner aperitif.

Programme:

8h45 – Accueil et ouverture

9h00 – Philippe STEINER (Université Paris-Sorbonne)“Un quart de siècle et bien des changements dans l’histoire des idées économiques”

11h00 – Catherine AUDARD (London School of Economics)“La ‘Property-Owning Democracy’, un instrument de régulation du capital et de réduction des inégalités? Une comparaison entre James Meade, John Rawls et Thomas Piketty”

14h30 – Christopher HAMEL (Université Libre de Bruxelles),Le républicanisme entre histoire des idées politiques et philosophie normatives. Deux visées compatibles?”

16h45 – Pierre DOCKÈS (Université Lumière Lyon 2), “Synthèse sur les interventions du jour”.

19h00 – Apéritif dînatoire des 25 ans du Centre Walras-Pareto

Entrance is free, but registration is necessary because of the meals. For organizational reasons, please inform François Allisson of your attendance.

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Working Paper: Antoinette Baujard & Muriel Gilardone, “Sen is Not a Capability Theorist”

Antoinette Baujard & Muriel Gilardone have recently published online a working paper entitled “Sen is Not a Capability Theorist“.

Abstract: This paper aims to show that, contrary to the standard understanding of his work, Sen’s idea of justice does not consist in the defense of a capability theory. Under the dominant capability-centered view, Sen’s idea of justice is indeed characterized principally by a switch of focus from utility to capability. We demonstrate that this view amounts to the application of formal welfarism to capabilities. We reject this characterization and defend instead a heuristic account of the status of capability in Sen’s thought: capability was introduced to make a point against welfarism, but this does not imply that a commitment to a capability theory. The capability-centered view is shown to be inconsistent with Sen’s idea of justice, because the latter requires agents to be involved in the definition of their own welfare. Our study of the status of capability in Sen’s view of justice enables us to relocate his main contribution and to build the basis for an alternative theory of justice.

Keywords: Capability, welfarism, justice, operationalization, paternalism, agency, public reasoning.

JEL Classification: A13, B41, D63, D79, I31.

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Working Paper: Mark Setterfield, “Heterodox Economics, Social Ontology, and the Use of Mathematics”

Mark Setterfield has recently published online a working paper entitled “Heterodox Economics, Social Ontology, and the Use of Mathematics“.

Abstract: In a recent article (Lawson, 2013), Tony Lawson argues for a Veblenian interpretation of the term “neoclassical”, according to which a neoclassical economist is one whose methodology is at odds with their ontological presuppositions. This leads him to categorize many heterodox economists as neoclassical on the basis that their use of mathematical modeling is at odds with their (implicit) acceptance of an open-systems ontology. The reason is that, according to Lawson, Mathematical modeling is deductivist: it presupposes that social systems are closed. The argument advanced in this paper is that this last claim is true only some of the time, and problematic only some of the time that it is true. It therefore amounts to a defense of mathematical modeling by heterodox economists that is, at the same time, sympathetic to Lawson’s claims that the social realm is structured but open and that this ontology is (implicitly) accepted by many heterodox economists.

Keywords: Mathematical modeling, social ontology, open systems, critical realism, heterodox economics.

JEL Classification: B41, B50, C02.

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Working Paper: Erik Angner, “Behavioral Welfare Economics, Libertarian Paternalism, and the Nudge Agenda”

Erik Angner has recently published online a working paper entitled “Behavioral Welfare Economics, Libertarian Paternalism, and the Nudge Agenda“.

Abstract: Armed with a set of economic theories and a desire to influence policy and improve lives, behavioral economists have developed a doctrine variously referred to as libertarian, light/soft, or asymmetric paternalism, and a series of policy proposals collectively referred to as the nudge agenda. To its advocates, the nudge agenda allows us to improve people’s choices and thereby their well-being on their own terms at minimal cost and without interfering with their liberty or autonomy. To its critics, the nudge agenda represents an ineffective and dangerous intrusion into the sphere of personal decision-making by bureaucrats who may be no better at making decisions than the people whose choices they are trying to improve. This paper reviews what libertarian paternalism and the nudge agenda are, how their foundations differ (or not) from those of neoclassical economics, and what their promises and limitations might be.

Keywords: Behavioral economics, behavioral welfare economics, the nudge agenda.

JEL Classification: B2, B4, D6.

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