I will be giving a talk next week to a graduate philosophy class at Bowling Green State University in Ohio. The theme of my talk is: What Philosophers Need to Know about Economics.
Over the past generation BGSU has developed one of the country’s strongest programs in applied ethics and political philosophy, so it will be an honor as well as a pleasure. Thanks to Professor Fred Miller and Professor Pam Phillips, the course’s instructors, for the invitation.
I will be discussing philosophy’s contributions to the debates over economics as a social science. What is a science? Since economics is about valuing, how does one (or can one) bridge the is-ought gap in ethics? Since individual economic agents can be irrational in their values, how epistemologically can there be a science involving such agents? Great issues that take us to landmark influential philosophers in conflict with each other — e.g., Hume versus Aristotle, the Logical Positivists versus the Postmodernists — and landmark influential economists in conflict with each other — e.g., the neoclassicals versus the Austrians.