Obligatory photo in front of the Helsinki Cathedral.
Obligatory photo in front of the Helsinki Cathedral.

I am a philosopher of economics working at the Faculty of Social Sciences of the University of Helsinki, and a member of the Centre for Philosophy of Social Science (TINT). I hold the titles of Docent in Practical Philosophy (awarded by the University of Helsinki, 2019) and Docent in Economics (awarded by the Turkish Council of Higher Education, 2012).

I am one of the Chief Editors of the Journal of Economic Methodology (since 1.1.2020, together with Jack Vromen), and a member of the Editorial Board of the History of Economic Ideas. I serve in the International Advisory Board of European Association for Evolutionary Political Economy‘s newly established journal The Review of Evolutionary Political Economy (REPE). I am coordinating the Economic Methodology Research Area at the European Association for Evolutionary Political Economy (together with Uskali Mäki), organizing TINT’s Perspecitves on Science Seminar and editing the posts for the TINT Blog.

I am fascinated by the uses, misuses, explanatory power and policy relevance of idealized models in economics and elsewhere. I also like to look into the nitties and gritties of theories of institutions. I have published a number of authored and edited books both in Turkish and English. Highlights are, I think, The Invisible Hand in Economics (Routledge, 2008) and İktisat Nedir? (What is Economics?, in Turkish, İletişim 2017). You can find more about my research by visiting the publications page.

At the University of Helsinki, I teach (together with Michiru Nagatsu) the Philosophy of Economics course (aka Understanding Economic Models). I give guest lectures in economic methodology, institutions and philosophy of science in Tallinn at TalTech (Tallinn University of Technology) and the Estonian Business School. Before the Covid-19 pandemic, I used to do this by physically getting on a boat and going to Tallinn (can you believe it?),  now it has to be done online via Zoom.  Before Covid-19, I also used to teach the Philosophy of Economics course to about 500 students at the Erasmus University Rotterdam (NL) as a visiting lecturer at the Erasmus School of Philosophy. At least, I did so in 2018 and 2019. And yes, I was physically present in Rotterdam, which is a city I like a lot (my favorite place being Locus Publicus).

At the University of Helsinki, I am also the PI of a H2020 project, entitled Individual Behavior and Economic Performance (2020-2023, Project leader: Aaro Hazak @TalTech). This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation programme under Grant Agreement No 952574.


A bit about the past

I have a PhD from the Erasmus School of Philosophy, Erasmus University Rotterdam (The Netherlands). After earning my BSc. and M.A. degrees in economics at Ankara University (Turkey), I completed the MPhil program in Philosophy and Economics at  the Erasmus Institute for Philosophy and Economics (EIPE). My PhD thesis supervisors were Jack Vromen and Maarten Janssen. I defended my thesis against a committee that included Mark Blaug, Uskali Mäki, and Robert Sugden as its members.

Before coming to Helsinki, I worked as an Associate Professor of Economics at Bahçeşehir University (Istanbul, Turkey) while at the same time teaching two courses at the Department of Economics of the Boğaziçi University (Istanbul, Turkey). Apart from my academic writing, I also write for a wider audience. My opinion pieces were published by Wall Street Journal Turkey, Business HT and TEPAV Blog. I used to write policy notes for a prominent Turkish think tank TEPAV (Economic Policy Research Foundation Turkey).

For more information, check out my booksarticles, policy notes, opinion pieces, etc. My detailed CV is here.

If you’d like to contact me for some reason, my e-mail address is: aydinonat [at] gmail.com

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