Yahya Hoca

Yahya Sezai Tezel (1941-2022)

Yahya hoca ile 1993 yılında “İktisadi Sistemler” dersinde tanıştım ama daha o derse girmeden kendisi hakkında çok şey duymuştum. İlginç bir hocayla karşılaşacağımdan emin olarak derse başladım ve Yahya hocadan geçmenin zor olduğunu bildiğim için derse odaklandım. Yanlış hatırlamıyorsam, o derste von Hayek’in “Kölelik Yolu” başlıklı kitabını okutuyordu. Tabii biz eski baskıdan okumuştuk, “Esaret Yolu” diye çevrilmişti o zaman sanırım… Bir iki Hayek okuması daha olması lazım. “Kanun, yasama faaliyeti ve özgürlük”ü okuduğumu hatırlıyorum. Bir de ikincil bir kaynak vardı sanırım çünkü o kitaba Hayek’in para ile ilgili görüşlerini eleştirdiğim notları yazdığımı dün gibi hatırlıyorum. Şimdi kripto paralar falan tartışılırken de hep o okumayı yaptığım günler aklıma geliyor. Bunlar dışında başka bir sürü okuma vardı. Hoca, Peter L. Berger’in “İnsan ve Dünyasını İnşası” adlı “risale”sini okutmuştu ama onu “Genel İktisat Tarihi” dersinde mi okuttu, yoksa “Sistemler” dersinde mi hatırlamıyorum. Tek hatırladığım, Berger’i okuduktan sonra bütün sınıfın Berger’in kavramları ile konuşmaya başladığı. Berger’in kullandığı “içselleştirme”, “dışsallaştırma” ve “nesnelleştirme” gibi kavramlar gerek şaka olarak gerekse de ciddi tartışmalarda “silah” olarak kullanılmaya başlamıştı.

“Sistemler” dersinde neredeyse hiç sesimi çıkarmadım. O yıl amacım, Yahya hocaya pek bulaşmadan bu dersi bir seferde verip geçmekti. Çok çalıştım ve okudum ama sınavlarda pek başarılı olamadım. Başarılı olamamamın nedeni hocanın sorduğu sorulara nasıl yanıt vereceğimi anlamamış olmamdı. Diğer derslerde bildiğim her şeyi yazıp puan toplayabiliyordum ama Yahya hoca soruya tam olarak cevap vermeyene “doğru ama ilgisiz” yazıp sıfırı basıyordu. Doğru, ilgili ve soruya tam cevap veren şeyleri yazmak için materyali bilmek yetmiyordu, kavramış olmak gerekiyordu. Hocanın derslerinde öğrendiğimiz en önemli şeylerden biri buydu. Neyse, ben bu “Sistemler” dersinin sınavından geçeceğim diye Metallica’nın İstanbul’daki efsane 1993 konserine gitmemiştim, çok iyi hatırlıyorum. Sonunda dersi ancak bütünlemenin bütünlemesinde geçtim.

Aykut Çelebi’nin verdiği “Sosyal Bilimlerde Yöntem” dersi sonrası biraz bilim felsefesi, biraz sosyoloji ve biraz da antropolojiye merak salmıştım. Yazın Fransız antropolog Piere Clastres’in kitaplarını okurken bir referanstan diğerine atlayıp Marshall Sahlins’in “The Stone Age Economics” adlı kitabına ulaştım. İktisat okuyordum ve antropoloji ile ilgileniyordum, “bu kitabı kesin okumam lazım” dedim. Kütüphanelerde kitabı aradım ama kitabın Türkçesi yoktu. Bu konuda tanıdıklarıma dert yanarken, birisi bana “Yahya Tezel o kitabı çeviriyordu” dedi. O dönem Yahya hocadan “Genel İktisat Tarihi” dersi alıyorduk. Cesaretimi topladım, Yahya hocanın odasına gittim. Sahlins’in kitabının çevirisini sordum. “Ne yapacaksın?” dedi, anlattım. Ne cevap verdiğini hatırlamıyorum ama muhtemelen “Evladım, İngilizce biliyorsan gidip İngilizcesi’ni okusana!” demiştir.

Hayatın Başlangıcı…

Her neyse, işte muhtemelen bu ziyaretle hocanın dikkatini çekmiş oldum. “Genel İktisat Tarihi” derslerinden birinde ödev dağıtırken, bana da “hayatın başlangıcı ve insanın ataları” üstüne bir özet yazmak düştü. Konu hakkında güncel Türkçe kaynak pek yoktu. Yahya hoca nelere bakabileceğim ile ilgili ipuçları verdi. Milli Kütüphane’de bulabildiğim İngilizce kaynakları ve evrim hakkındaki yakın zamanlı Scientific American dergilerini falan toplayıp, hummalı bir çalışma sonucunda bir şey hazırladım. Daha da önemlisi hazırladığım şeyle gurur duyuyordum. Hayatımda ilk defa İngilizce kaynakları kullanarak araştırma yapmış ve bir metin hazırlamıştım. Kendime güvenim gelmişti. Zaten sanırım Yahya hoca da bu görevi bana bu sebeple verdi. Uzatmayayım, hoca ödevi beğendi. AÜ SBF matbaasında çoğalttırdı ve dersin okuma listesine benim ödevim de eklenmiş oldu. Böylece ilk yayınımı küçük çapta da olsa yapmış oldum.

Bilimsel Bilgi – Hospers

Tabii bu ödev, başka ödev ve sorumlulukların da önünü açmış oldu. Hoca, daha sonra bana başka bir ders (“İktisadi Analiz Tarihi”) için bilim felsefesi ile ilgili bir çeviri yapmak isteyip istemeyeceğimi sordu. Ben de “denerim” diyerek görevi aldım. John Hospers’in “Felsefi Analize Giriş” kitabının “Bilimsel Bilgi” başlıklı bölümünü çevirmeye koyuldum. Hemen çok zor bir işe kalkıştığımı anladım. Ama pes etmedim. Ara ara hocadan yardım isteyerek, bu metnin çevirisini tamamladım. Yahya hoca çeviriyi kontrol etti. Düzeltmeleri birlikte yaptık. Sonra Yahya hoca, bu metni de dersin okuma kaynakları arasına ekledi. İkinci yayınımı da böylece yapmış oldum.

Sizin anlayacağınız, Yahya hocanın odasının kapsından tek bir soru sormak için girdim, iki tane “yayın” ile çıktım. Hoca, çaktırmadan beni akademik işlerin içine çekti, test etti ve motive etti. Sonra da yol gösterdi.

Mezun olduktan sonra yüksek lisans programına başvurdum ve asistanlık sınavına girdim. Yurt dışında doktoraya gidene kadar Yahya hoca ile birlikte çalıştım.

Yahya hocayla pek çok konuda aynı görüşleri paylaşmıyorduk. İkimiz de çok inatçı olduğumuz için anlaşamadığımız konularda birbirimizi zorluyorduk. Tartışıyorduk. Yahya hocadan akademik olarak çok şey öğrenmemin nedenlerinden biri de budur. Anlaşamadığımız konularda bana sürekli varsayımlarımı sorgulatıyordu, beni pozisyonumu dikkatlice açıklamaya zorluyordu. Hocayı ikna edecek argümanı geliştirebilmek için daha çok okumam, öğrenmem ve düşünmem gerekiyordu. Çoğu zaman onu ikna edemedim ama Yahya hocaya haklı olduğumu göstermek için epey şey öğrendim.

Hocanın seveni de sevmeyeni de çoktu. Bunda hem nevi şahsına münhasır kişiliğinin hem de siyasi görüşlerinin payı vardı. Ama sanıyorum hemen her öğrencisi geriye şöyle bir baktığında Yahya hocadan çok şey öğrendiğini rahatlıkla söyleyebilir. Sadece akademik konularda da değil. Hocanın bir dersliğe ses sistemi kurup, Orta Doğu ve Avrupa müzikleri ve tarihi ile ilgili yaptığı dinletiyi sanıyorum öğrencileri hatırlayacaktır…

Ben, hem öğrencisi oldum hem de uzun süre asistanlığını yaptım. Onunla birlikte ders verdim, sınav kağıdı okudum. Hocayla okuduğum makaleleri tartıştım. Tereddütsüz bir şekilde şunu söyleyebilirim: başka çok iyi hocaların öğrencisi oldum ve onlarla da çalıştım ama en çok şeyi Yahya hoca sayesinde öğrendim.

Bitirmeden önce şunu da not etmeliyim. Uzun yıllardır Yahya hocayla görüşmedim ve konuşmadım, çünkü yıllar önce beni kırmıştı ve üzmüştü. Ama bugün kırgınlık zamanı değil. Bana çok şey öğreten hocama teşekkür zamanı. Teşekkürler hocam. Işıklar içinde uyuyun! (kendisi öyle derdi).

CFP: The International Network for Economic Method (INEM) Conference

The International Network for Economic Method (INEM), in collaboration with College of Global Futures, Arizona State University, is delighted to announce that the 15th Biennial Conference that will take place from November 12-14, 2021. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 situation, participants will only be able to attend this conference remotely.

We welcome proposals for contributed papers and symposia in all areas of the philosophy and methodology of economics. We particularly encourage submissions that combine philosophy and methodology of economics with other perspectives on studying economics offered, for instance, by history and sociology of economics, ethics, political philosophy, as well as by feminist approaches and social ontology.

To submit your proposal, please go to: https://easychair.org/conferences/?conf=inem2021

Keynote Speakers

  • Cass R. Sunstein (Harvard University)
  • Johanna Thoma (London School of Economics)
  • Michiru Nagatsu (University of Helsinki)

Abstract Submission

Contributed Papers

Abstracts for contributed papers should be 250-300 words. Please prepare your abstract for anonymous review.

Submit your abstract through EasyChair. Please select contributed paper as the submission type.

Symposia

A symposium is composed of three or four papers that address a shared theme. Symposium proposals should contain a short summary of the topic and motivation of the symposium (250-300 words) accompanied by short abstracts of the symposium papers (3-4 papers per symposium, 250-300 words each). Book symposiums will also be considered. Please prepare your submission for anonymous review.

Submit your symposium proposal through EasyChair. Please select symposium proposal as the submission type.

Young Scholars who submit abstracts for INEM 2021 should also send a separate e-mail to inem.conference.2021@gmail.com indicating their status as such. Young Scholars are either PhD candidates or scholars who have obtained their PhD within the last three years.

The deadline for both abstract and symposium proposals submissions is May 15, 2021.

Acceptance will be communicated by mid-June 2021.

If you have any questions about INEM 2021, please contact the organizers via e-mail: inem.conference.2021@gmail.com

Philosophy of Economics courses around the globe

Here is a list of Philosophy of Economics courses offered at different universities and their syllabi. Please note that some of the courses in the list are no longer offered, but you can still reach their syllabi using the provided link. The information provided reflects the information on the online syllabus.

I compiled this list first by using Google search and then asking people on Twitter. I would be grateful if you help me expand this list. Thank you.

Austria

  • Maarten Janssen. Methodology of Economics. University of Vienna. 2020. Syllabus.

Canada

  • Margaret Schabas. History and Philosophy of Economics I. The University of British Columbia. 2021. Syllabus
  • Margaret Schabas. History and Philosophy of Economics II. The University of British Columbia. 2021. Syllabus
  • Patricia Marino. Special Topics: Philosophy of Economics. University of Waterloo. 2019. Syllabus.

Finland

  • N. Emrah Aydinonat & Michiru Nagatsu. Understanding Economic Models. University of Helsinki. 2018. Syllabus.

France

  • Beatrice Cherrier. Understanding the development of modern economics through major controversies. École Polytechnique. 2019. Syllabus.  (Although not exactly a PhilEcon course, inspiring syllabus for philosophers of economics)

Italy

  • Francesco Guala. Philosophy of Economics. Università degli Studi di Milano. 2020. Syllabus.
  • Mario Cedrini. Economics as Science. Università di Torino. 2021. Syllabus
  • Mario Cedrini & Stefano Fiori. Fundamentals of economics. Università di Torino. Sylalbus

Mexico

  • Josafat Iván Hernández Cervantes. Introducción a la filosofía de la economía. Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM). 2021. Syllabus.

Switzerland

  • Catherine Herfeld. Philosophy of Economics. University of Zurich. 2018. Syllabus.
  • Paul Hoyningen-Huene. Introduction to the Philosophy of Economics. University of Zurich. 2019. Syllabus.
  • Lorenzo Casini and Christian Wüthrich. Philosophy of Economics. University of Geneva. 2019. Syllabus.

The Netherlands

  • Jack Vromen & N. Emrah Aydinonat. Philosophy of Economics. Erasmus University Rotterdam. 2017. Syllabus.

Turkey

  • Altuğ Yalçıntaş. Research Methodologies and Scientific Ethics in Economics. Ankara University. 2018. Course material.
  • Hüseyin Özel. Economic Methodology. Hacettepe University. 2020. Online lectures (Youtube).

UK

  • Johanna Thoma, Campbell Brown, Richard Bradley & Kate Vredenburgh. Philosophy of Economics. LSE. 2020. Syllabus.

United States

  • Dan Hausman. Philosophy of Economics. University of Wisconsin-Madison. 2015. Syllabus.
  • Matthias Brinkmann. Philosophy of Economics. University of Virginia. 2018. Syllabus.
  • Kevin Zollman. Philosophy of Economics. Carnegie Mellon University. 2013. Syllabus.
  • Kevin Hoover. The Philosophy and Methodology of Economics. Duke University. Syllabus 2014  / Syllabus 2016 / Syllabus 2020Syllabus 2022.
  • Mark Sagoff. Philosophy of Economics. George Mason University. 2015. Syllabus.
  • Daniel Finn. Economics, Philosophy, and Method. College of Saint Benedict, Saint John’s University. 2017. Syllabus.

2020 Nobel Prize in Economics: A Reading List

On 2 November 2020, TINT will host a seminar titled “Winner’s Curse? A Discussion on the 2020 Nobel Prize in Economics“. The speakers are Hannu Vartiainen and Beatrice Cherrier.

The seminar will take place online via Zoom from 2 to 5 pm (Helsinki time). If you’d like to join please visit TINT’s blog.

If you’d like to get prepared for this event or read more about this year’s Nobel Prize in Economics, here is a reading list. I hope you’ll find it useful.

2020 Nobel Prize in Economics Reading list

(Some of the articles are be behind a paywall, sorry)

Introductory articles for the uninitiated

Blog Posts

Introductory articles

Historical and Philosophical Perspectives on Prize related work

  • Alexandrova, A., & Northcott, R. (2009). Progress in Economics: Lessons from the Spectrum Auctions. In D. Ross & H. Kincaid (Eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Economics (pp. 306–336). Oxford University Press. https://doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780195189254.003.0011
  • Boldyrev, I. A. (2012). Philosophy of Science or Science and Technology Studies? Economic Methodology and Auction Theory. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science, 26(3), 289–307. https://doi.org/10.1080/02698595.2012.731732
  • Cherrier, B., & Saïdi, A. (2020). A Century of Economics and Engineering at Stanford. History of Political Economy, 52, 85–111. https://doi.org/10.1215/00182702-8717936
  • Hitzig, Z. (2020). The normative gap: mechanism design and ideal theories of justice. Economics and Philosophy, 36(3), 407–434. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0266267119000270
  • Guala, F. (2001). Building economic machines: The FCC auctions. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A, 32(3), 453–477. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0039-3681(01)00008-5
  • McAfee, R. P., McMillan, J., & Wilkie, S. (2012). The Greatest Auction in History. In J. J. Siegfried (Ed.), Better Living through Economics (pp. 168–184). Harvard: Harvard University Press.
  • Nik-Khah, E. (2008). A tale of two auctions. Journal of Institutional Economics, 4(01). https://doi.org/10.1017/S1744137407000859

Exchange between Promarket.org authors & Milgrom

Some Twitter comments

CFP. The Lucasian Turn in Macroeconomics

Journal of Economic Methodology Special Issue

Guest editor: Peter Galbács, Galbacs.Peter@uni-bge.hu

Deadline for paper submission: 15 June 2021

In 2022 we will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the publication of Robert E. Lucas’s revolutionary paper, ‘Expectations and the neutrality of money’. In honour of this occasion, editors of the Journal of Economic Methodology have decided to devote a special issue to the overall assessment of the impact of the paper and Lucas’s theory, particularly from the perspective of economic methodology.

Background

‘Expectations and the neutrality of money’ was a milestone in the evolution of modern macroeconomics. In this paper, Lucas, with inspiration from Phelps, completed the placing of macroeconomics on microfoundations for the first time to understand business cycles as the outcomes of individual decisions. Soon afterwards, elaborating the microfoundations became for him the key to meaningful macroeconomics and the basis upon which he mounted a systematic offensive against then traditional Keynesian macroeconometrics. In line with this line of inquiry, Lucas developed the islands model and extended its applications throughout his career. This framework proved to be a defining and enduring constituent of his economics.

Lucas’s idea of optimizing agents responding to unpredictable shocks to the money supply inspired others to apply the same framework to the case of stochastic shocks to preferences or technology. The resulting real business cycle (RBC) theory, initiated by Prescott, Kydland, Plosser and others, thus has its roots in Lucas’s core islands model framework. Given the profound influence RBC theory has exerted on today’s economics, it is not an overstatement to say that Lucas, both directly and indirectly, was one of the most powerful formative minds behind modern macroeconomics. It is also Lucas’s islands models and the resulting ‘Lucas critique’ that forced Keynesians to provide microfounded explanations for the traditional Keynesian assumptions (e.g. rigidity of prices and wages). Moreover, monetary neutrality, Lucas’s core theoretical and economic policy puzzle, is still active as a problem.

Call for Papers

We invite papers that approach the Lucasian turn in macroeconomics from a methodological and historical perspective. We are particularly interested in papers that use philosophy and history of economics in an integrated way to shed light on both Lucas’s approach and its impact from the point of view of economic methodology. The following list of topics, issues and questions could serve as a starting point for the scholars who are interested in contributing to this special issue.

  • The methodological significance and epistemic value of the islands model and its extensions.
  • Several methodological issues that relate to Lucas’s work, particularly with respect to microfoundations, supervenience and reducibility.
  • Lucas’s methodological stance—what did he think about the level where models needed to connect to reality?
  • The econometric practice behind the island models, the triumph of the DSGE framework in particular, and the controversy between estimation and calibration.
  • The emergence and evolution of the islands model framework in Lucas’s economics. For example, how did it make its way into real business cycle modelling and later into central bank modelling?
  • Lucas’s relationship to the Chicago school of economics. For example, how did Lucas made the previously anti-empirical Walrasian economics an applied and data-based theory and responded to Friedman’s criticisms?

This, of course, is only a preliminary set of questions. We welcome all papers that deal with the Lucasian turn in macroeconomics in line with the aims and scope of the Journal of Economic Methodology.

INSTRUCTIONS FOR AUTHORS

Papers must follow the general instructions for authors of the Journal of Economic Methodology and be ready for the peer-review process. Submission takes place via the journal’s submission page. The papers submitted to the special issue will go through the standard peer-review process.

Step-by-step instructions

Manuscripts are submitted via JEM’s submission site: https://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/rjec

  • If you do not have an account, please create an account by clicking on “Create an Account” on the top menu.
  • If you already have an account, you can login by entering your credentials.

To submit your manuscript for the review symposium, please follow these steps:

  1. Login to manuscript central: https://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/rjec  
  2. On the top menu, click on “Author” to go to the Author Dashboard.
  3. You should be seeing the “Start a New Submission” menu. Click on “Begin a Submission” under Traditional Submission.
  4. On Step 1. Choose “Original Manuscripts” and enter the details of your manuscript.
  5. Complete Steps 1-6 by answering the questions on the screen. Please note that in Step 2 you will need to upload the manuscript file.
  6. This is an important step: “Step 5: Details and Comments”. When you arrive at Step 5, on the bottom of the page you’ll see the following question: “Is this manuscript a candidate for a Special Issue?” Please select “Yes” and choose the name of the special issue from the dropdown list. The name of the special issue is: “Lucasian Turn”
  7. Complete the remaining steps to review and submit your manuscript.

2019 Nobel Prize in Economics: A Reading List

Today (25.11.2019), TINT is organizing a little event about the 2019 Nobel Prize in Economics (see the poster below). For those who are unable to attend, I prepared a quick reading list that contains some articles about the 2019 Prize as well as some critical perspectives about the work of Nobel Laureates. Of course, this is not an exhaustive literature list. Nevertheless, I hope it is useful.

newposter

First, the documents that you can find on the Nobel Prize website. They give a very good overview of the work of Abhijit Banerjee, Esther Duflo, and Michael Kremer:

Second, Esther Duflo’s Richard T. Elly Lecture is a must read:

You can also watch this.

Finally, some critical perspectives on RCTs and “poor economics”, published prior to the announcement of the 2019 Nobel Prize.

Of course there is more, but I hope this is useful for a start.

A summer reading list for students of Philosophy of Economics

I prepared this list for my Philosophy of Economics students (Erasmus School of Economics, Erasmus University Rotterdam). Most books in this list should be interesting even if you do not like philosophy of economics, but they are related to the topics we have discussed in class. Of course, they will be even more interesting if you put your philosopher of economics hat on. The list consists mostly of light books that you can read on the beach, in a hammock, on top of a mountain, or wherever you are fancying for the holiday. They are good books, nevertheless. I hope you will find this list useful and enjoy reading these books.

The reading list

The first group of books in the list is about economics, economists, and how models are used. The first book, Dani Rodrik’s Economics Rules gives a wonderful and easily digestible overview of how economics works. Rodrik is a prominent economist and in this book, he defends economics against criticism. However, he also criticises economists for misusing their models. Dani Rodrik’s overview closely relates to our discussion concerning models and explanation in economics. This is a very good book. The second book by Diane Coyle, The Soulful Science, gives an overview of what economists actually do. Although it is a bit outdated, its overview of research areas in economics is very useful—especially if you are considering pursuing a career that involves research. Roger Backhouse’s The Puzzle of Modern Economics paints a picture of economics as a powerful science by discussing how economic models are used by economists in practice. This is not a bestseller. In fact, many people do not know that this book exists, but it is a very good book.  The last book in the list also discusses how economic models are used in practice. Alvin Roth received the Nobel Prize in Economics in 2012. His book, Who Gets What—and Why, gives a highly readable and moderately enjoyable story of how economists design markets. The whole book about to the following question we discussed during the lectures: what are the conditions under which we can carry the lessons we learn from models to the real world?

Picture1 Economics Rules: The Rights and Wrongs of the Dismal Science by Dani Rodrik
Picture2 The Soulful Science: What Economists Really Do and Why It Matters  by Diane Coyle
Picture3 The Puzzle of Modern Economics: Science or Ideology? by Roger E. Backhouse
Picture4 Who Gets What ― and Why: The New Economics of Matchmaking and Market Design by Alvin Roth

Next in our list are two books that are closely related to the several topics we have discussed in class. Both talk about the crowding-out effect of monetary incentives, touch on criticisms concerning rational choice and game theory, discuss several experiments, etc. Both books also discuss the moral and policy implications of economic models and the assumptions we employ. The Moral Economy requires a more careful reading. Thus, I suggest starting with The Why Axis.

Picture5 The Moral Economy: Why Good Incentives Are No Substitute for Good Citizens by Samuel Bowles
Picture6 The Why Axis: Hidden Motives and the Undiscovered Economics of Everyday Life by Uri Gneezy and John List

Now, a bunch of books on behavioural economics. I am sure that many of you have read some of these books, but I would like to mention them anyway. I think both Nudge and Misbehaving are very readable introductions to behavioural economics, so they are definitely recommended. If you did not read it already, read Daniel Kahneman’s Thinking, Fast and Slow this summer. It is a very good book. But if you’d like to read something lighter to begin with, consider Dan Ariely’s Predictably Rational. It is a fun book. In fact, although they are not in my list, consider reading Ariely’s other books too. While reading these books you will remember several topics from our philosophy of economics course, or at least many things should sound familiar :)

Picture7 Misbehaving: The Making of Behavioral Economics by Richard H. Thaler
Picture8 Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness by Richard H. Thaler  and Cass R. Sunstein
Picture9 Thinking, Fast and Slow  by Daniel Kahneman
Picture10 Predictably Irrational, Revised and Expanded Edition: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions by Dan Ariely

If you are up for some serious reading on philosophy of economics, the following books should satisfy your desire. The first book by Robert Sugden (The Community of Advantage) wonderfully combines almost everything we discussed during the semester: welfare economics, behavioral economics, normative analysis, invisible hand, incentives, theories of justice, moral limits of markets etc. It is a new book, and if you would like to catch up with recent debates among economists, this is the book to read. If you would like to make some heavy lifting in philosophy of economics then you should also read the book by Hausman et al. It is heavier than other books. So, it is definitely not for the sunbed.

Picture11 The Community of Advantage: A Behavioural Economist’s Defence of the Market  by Robert Sugden
Picture12 Economic Analysis, Moral Philosophy, and Public Policy (3rd Edition), by Daniel Hausman, Michael McPherson, and Debra Satz

If our discussion on the moral limits of markets was interesting, I suggest the following two books. They are easy to read, but also critical. Test your philosophical argumentation skills as economists against these books!

Picture13 What Money Can’t Buy: The Moral Limits of Markets by Michael J. Sandel
Picture14 Why Some Things Should Not Be for Sale: The Moral Limits of Markets  by Debra Satz

If you’d like to brush up your economics while critically thinking about economics, I suggest the following books. Economics in Two Lessons is fairly new. I did not finish reading it yet, but it looks like an excellent book. The other two books are also fun to read.

Note that the last book in the list is special. Thomas Schelling’s Micromotives and Macrobehavior is one of my all-time favorites. If you read it, you will be amazed by the clarity of Schelling’s thinking. Although it does not explain economic concepts like the other books, it is about how you can understand the world with very simple models. It is a must read for all economics students.

Picture15 Economics in Two Lessons: Why Markets Work So Well, and Why They Can Fail So Badly by John Quiggin
Picture16 Economics: The User’s Guide: A Pelican Introduction by Ha-Joon Chang
Picture17 Economics Without Illusions: Debunking the Myths of Modern Capitalism by Joseph Heath
Picture18 Micromotives and Macrobehavior by Thomas C. Schelling

As an economist, you need to know more about inequality, international trade, economic growth, and many other topics. Here are four books that I think will help you follow the debates concerning important topics. I would like to mention One Economics, Many Recipes separately because it is the most relevant from the perspective of philosophy of economics. It shows how to use models of economic growth in practice, paying close attention to economic methodology.

Picture19 Global Inequality: A New Approach for the Age of Globalization  by Branko Milanovic
Picture20 Straight Talk on Trade: Ideas for a Sane World Economy by Dani Rodrik
Picture21 One Economics, Many Recipes: Globalization, Institutions, and Economic Growth  by Dani Rodrik
Picture22 Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and Poverty by Daron Acemoglu and James A. Robinson

Finally, a book about writing. Read it to improve your writing.

Picture23 Economical Writing: Thirty-Five Rules for Clear and Persuasive Prose (3rd edition) by Deirdre N. McCloskey

I think this list should get you through summer, but if you want more look at this reading list. If you would like to do some more serious reading, there is a reading list at the end of our syllabus.

Have a nice summer.

CFP: Synthese Special Issue on Unrealistic Models

Call for Papers

Synthese Special Issue
WHAT TO MAKE OF HIGHLY UNREALISTIC MODELS?

Guest Editors:
N. Emrah Aydinonat, Uskali Mäki, and Till Grüne-Yanoff

What to make of highly unrealistic models? This is one of the big questions in contemporary philosophy of science, especially in philosophy of economics and biology.

We consider two set of issues particularly relevant here. The first has to do with the ways in which highly unrealistic models should be characterized and the numerous ways in which models can be unrealistic. The key concepts here include those of representation and target, truth and falsity, abstraction and isolation, idealization and simplification. Recent literature on models exhibits conceptual and terminological diversity and disagreement in characterizing unrealistic models. Different authors use different names to refer to highly unrealistic models, including ‘toy model’, ‘fictional model’, ‘minimal model’, ‘non-representative model’, ‘model without a target’, ‘substitute model’. Moreover, they sometimes use the same name to refer to different types of models. Neither the precise meanings nor the relations between these notions are clear in the literature.

The second set of issues has to do with the functions and uses of such unrealistic models. What purposes can they serve, and what purposes are actually pursued when using them? The main body of literature points to representational quality as grounding explanatory capacity despite abstraction, isolation, simplification and idealization. Others dispute this idea. Moreover, highly unrealistic models can serve other possible functions, next to their explanatory uses. Obviously, debates concerning the appropriate uses of highly unrealistic models need some tidying up.

The Special Issue What to Make of Highly Unrealistic Models aims to sort out some of the ambiguities and confusions in the literature and to contribute to a better understanding of the interpretations and uses of highly abstract and idealizing models. We are particularly interested in contributions that (i) clarify the meaning of commonly used terms such as toy model, minimal model, fictional model, substitute model, etc, and that (ii) clarify the arguments for and against such models having explanatory import or some other epistemic or non-epistemic function. Papers that focus on the uses (and misuses) specific (set of) models in scientific practice are particularly welcome.

Please submit your paper using the editorial manager at https://www.editorialmanager.com/synt/ by 31 January 28 February 2019. When the system asks you to “Choose Article Type”, select “S.I. Unrealistic Models” in the pulldown menu.

Before submitting your paper, please, read carefully the Synthese “Instructions for Authors” at: https://www.springer.com/philosophy/epistemology+and+philosophy+of+science/journal/11229

If you have questions, please contact emrah.aydinonat@helsinki.fi

Symposium on Dani Rodrik’s Economics Rules

The latest issue of the Journal of Economic Methodology (2018, 25/3) is a special issue on Dani Rodrik’s Economic Rules. It consists of the following articles:

I hope you will enjoy reading the symposium and join the conversation.

 

Philosophy of Economics Rules: introduction to the symposium

ABSTRACT: Economists have long been criticized for their use of highly idealized models. In Economics rules: Why economics works, when it fails, and how to tell the difference [Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015] Dani Rodrik responds to this criticism by offering an account of models that emphasizes the diversity of models in economics. Rodrik’s account presents a rare opportunity for economists and philosophers of economics to engage in mutually beneficial exchange that could better our understanding of the power and limits of economics, and the rights and wrongs of the dismal science. The symposium on Rodrik’s Economics Rules is the first attempt to seize this opportunity.
Keywords: economics, philosophy of economics, criticism of economics, history of economics, Dani Rodrik, symposium
JEL Codes: B40, B41

Citation: Aydınonat, N. Emrah (2018) “Philosophy of Economics Rules: introduction to the symposium, Journal of Economic Methodology, forthcoming. https://doi.org/10.1080/1350178X.2018.1503143

Pre-print available at: ResearchGate