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articles in english
1. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 49
Fernando Aguiar Internal and External Validity in Experimental Ethics and Economics
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According to a classical work on experimental design (Cook and Campbell 1979) internal validity “refers to the approximate validity with which we infer that a relationship between two variables is causal or that the absence of a relationship implies the absence of cause”. External validity “refers to the approximate validity with which we can infer that the presumed causal relationship can be generalized to and across alternate measures of the cause and effect and across different types of persons, settings, and times”. Since then, these have been the accepted definitions, with slight variations, of both concepts. However, there have been deep differences in interpreting the scope and limits of validity concepts in economics. From theory-driven experimental designs that defend the priority of the internal over the external validity to those researches that are demanding the importance of external validity in economics, we can find the most diverse points of view. What can experimental ethics learn, then, from recent debates on external and internal validity in experimental economics? If we want to elicit moral intuitions into the lab, are we testing moral theories that way? Could intuitions be generalized “across different types of persons, settings, and times”? Is that really possible?
2. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 49
Ricardo F. Crespo Returning to Aristotle: A New Wave in Economics
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In recent times various books have suggested building a healthier economics on Aristotelian foundations. They often rely on Scott Meikle’s accurate study of Aristotle’s Economic Thought (Clarendon Press, 1997). For example, we can mention James Alvey’s A Short History of Ethics and Economics. The Greeks (Elgar, 2011), Spencer Pack’s Aristotle, Adam Smith and Karl Marx (Elgar, 2010), and Irene van Staveren’s The Values of Economics: An Aristotelian Perspective (Routledge, 2001) which stresses the need for inserting the values of justice, freedom and care into economics. Andrew Yuengert’s The Boundaries of Technique (Lexington Books, 2004) is based on Aristotle and Aquinas conceptions of human action. Yuengert has also published Approximating Prudence: Aristotelian Practical Wisdom and Economic Models of Choice (Palgrave-MacMillan, 2012). James Halteman and Edd Noell’s book about the relevance of ethics for economics, Reckoning with Markets (Oxford University Press, 2012) also deals with Aristotle’s economic thought. The proposal of a new book of Robert and Edward Skidelsky, How Much is Enough? (Other Press, 2012) is also highly based on Aristotle’s notion of the good life. This paper will briefly detect what are the Aristotelian concepts mostly used by these authors and the reason why they are returning to Aristotle.
3. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 49
Aleksandr V. Gevorkyan Sketching the Dialectics in Economics: Social Totality and Inadequacy of Static Equilibrium
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The most recent economic deterioration of late 2000’s, the Great Recession, has caught the world by surprise. The effect of the sudden tackle, akin to a Greco-Roman wrestling throw, appears to still obfuscate the critical essence of the ongoing dynamic social and economic phenomena. This paper suggests a methodological effort to assess this transformation in a qualitatively different form than may be inferred from popular economic policy discourse. From a philosophical view, many paper’s conclusions are based on the foundational concepts of dialectical materialism, as a cross-link between philosophy and political economy. Current profound shifts in finance and economy are logical, dialectical, and are components of a bigger social transformational dynamic corresponding to the given stage of human development. From an economic approach, this study takes a conceptual leap beyond technical static equilibrium solutions tapping into forward looking dialectical interpretation of the self-feeding contradiction of the economic-social totality.
4. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 49
Domingo García-Marza, Elsa Gonzalez Esteban Ethics in Institutional Design
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In recent years, applied ethics has taken on board the various dimensions of public reason that can no longer be reduced to the political construction of a common will. While the question of a just society has traditionally been found in the political dimension, the state and its institutions, current globalization has broken this state monopoly over what is public, opening the way for other institutional actors with the same or greater power to intervene in the public space, actors that have little or nothing to do with representation, majority rule, etc. As the current financial downturn clearly demonstrates, states are pandering to the markets, striving to ‘get their houses in order’ to meet the demands imposed by the global financial magnates. It seems, at least to most citizens, that public politics, like the state’s capacity to deal with social and economic rights, no longer depends on either governments or their ability to govern. So should they be left out of a public reason that is capable of explaining whether they are just or otherwise? The ethical perspective –known to be a critical perspective– cannot remain silent about this new scenario. The present proposal attempts to combine applied ethics, which takes in the logic of social practices, with new contributions from institutional design theories that set out to analyse the power and responsibility of these institutions from ‘inside’, as institutional actors. In this short paper my analysis focuses on the ethical dimension of institutional design, specifically in a proposal for an institutional ethics that is a fundamental part of any applied ethics. The paper aims to explain in what way we can speak of an institutional morality to demonstrate that these civil society institutional actors hold some of the responsibility for facing the problems of defining and managing what is public.
5. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 49
Rico Hauswald Money as a Natural Kind
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According to John Searle, money is an institutional entity; it is among the things “that exist only because we believe them to exist”. I believe that Searle’s view is correct in some important respects. At the same time, I argue that money is a real or natural kind, much in the same way as biological species or chemical substances are real kinds about which empirical knowledge can be accumulated. The paper attempts to show the consistency of these assumptions. My argument proceeds in two steps. First, I introduce homeostatic property cluster (HPC) theory and characterize it as the most adequate account of real kinds that has been developed so far. Second, I reexamine, and to some extent reinterpret, money – one of Searle’s central examples of an institutional kind – and argue that it meets the conditions of a real kind as stated by HPC theory. An important part of the argument is a reconsideration of the circularity problem, i.e., the problem that Searle’s way of analyzing money already seems to presuppose the concept of money.
6. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 49
Demetri Kantarelis Xenophon’s unnoticed Insight: Mediation and Incentive-compatibility
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Xenophon, the first economist in the history of humanity, founded the discipline of economics by pointing out in his book Oeconomicus that the economic problem may be alleviated (a) through wise management of scarce resources and (b) simultaneously, through the search for and implementation of incentive mechanisms by relying on mediating institutions. Xenophon’s contribution regarding incentive mechanisms had been ignored until 2007, when Roger Myerson, in his Nobel Prize talk, eloquently gave him full attribution. In this paper I describe Xenophon’s description of the economic problem and attempt to illustrate the importance of mediation (or mediating institutions) in conjunction with construction of incentive-compatible constraints. My analysis points out that Xenophon’s ideas on mediation and incentive-compatibility can potentially eliminate bottlenecks associated with asymmetric information issues in market systems. Elimination of such bottlenecks can improve the well-being of all agents and their stakeholders in local and global markets.
7. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 49
Christoph Luetge Competition and Ethics
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“Competition” is a concept which many ethicists cast a skeptical eye on. Often, it is associated with the erosion of values and morality under competitive pressure, with “marketization” or with commercialization. I will shed a differentiated light on this concept, both from an economic, an ethical and an intercultural point of view. Competition, after all, can be instrumental for ethical goals.
8. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 49
Brena Paula Magno Fernandez Notes on the Epistemological Role of the Economic Rationality According to Karl Popper
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Popper’s situational logic and its underlying rule–the rationality principle–have not attracted much attention from economists and social scientists. This is an odd situation, since Popper explicitly says that situational logic is a generalization of the method used in neoclassical economics. This indifference among economists may be partially explained by the criticism of many methodologists, namely that Popper’s arguments concerning the epistemological status of the rationality principle are misleading, incoherent and even incompatible with the essence of falsificationism. In what follows we intend to argue that the accusations of incoherence which has been leveled at Popper do not hold up to critical scrutiny, if we consider the epistemological role of the rationality postulate as a regulative maxim of social inquiry. Therefore it is concluded that, as far as it is situated in a metatheoretical context, the rationality principle embraces undeniable importance as a foundation of economic theory. Its absence or non-existence would imply the unavailability of the necessary instruments to submit the theory to tests.
9. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 49
Nandini Mehta Equality and Development: Some Foundational Issues
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The process of development is seldom even, equal or harmonious. Strategies of development have often fostered discrimination and created new inequalities adding to the existing asymmetries in the social structure. The perspective of equity emanates necessarily in the evaluation of human well-being and advantage and is of wide relevance both for economic theory and practical policy today. It becomes important therefore to examine some approaches in political philosophy and economics which underlie evaluative judgments for an equitable development process. The richness and plurality of human life need to be adequately expressed in any informational base to provide effective policies. Simplified measures of a persons’ interest be it utility, desire or income while important for all empirical disciplines, have often led to an unfortunate narrowing of foundational issues, impoverishing the scope and reach of economic theory (Sen, 1998). This paper looks at alternative theories and principles of evaluation, viz. utilitarianism, libertarianism, Rawlsian justice most importantly Sen’s Capability Approach and concludes that a focus on human capabilities may well provide the appropriate informational base for development policies.
10. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 49
Carl David Mildenberger Thick Rationality and Normativity
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Thick ethical concepts are characterized by having both a “world-guided”/descriptive and an “action-guiding”/prescriptive aspect (Williams, 1985). The purpose of this paper is to argue that if we conceive of rationality as a thick ethical concept we will be able to understand two things. First, why people are inclined to believe that rationality – even if defined in terms of rational requirements (Broome, 2007; Kolodny, 2005) – actually is normative. The action-guiding aspect of the concept of ‘rationality’ is responsible for this. It is highlighted for example by the fact that accusing somebody of behaving irrationally works as a stand-alone criticism of an action or actor. Second, we can also understand why those recent arguments by Broome and Kolodny trying to show just how rationality is normative fail. They are proceeding solely based on a world-guided definition of rationality. This does not lead to a misapplication of the concept stricto sensu; but to a thin concept which necessarily fails to grasp the evaluative force of the concept of ‘rationality’. This is particularly insightful for economists who often tend to use ‘rationality’ as a standard for judging behavior.
11. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 49
Mark Rathbone Unemployment and the Gift in the South African Context
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Unemployment is a serious problem in South Africa that can be exasperated by the dialectical tension between neo-liberal and neo-Marxist perspectives that are being used to address this problem. This dialectical tension is reflected in language that can be informed by reductionist aspects of the ontologies of these perspectives. The purpose of this study is to inquire whether the deconstruction of Jacques Derrida can provide an alternative linguistic perspective for the dialectical tension between neo-liberal and neo-Marxist perspectives. The implication of deconstruction for the language of economic theory is illustrated by Jacques Derrida’s use of the word “gift”. “The gift” is ambivalent because it contains a tension between self-interest and justice, which Derrida refers to as “hospitable narcissism”. It will be argued that this ambivalence is present in the language of the economic theory of John Maynard Keynes, which may provide important sustainable economic perspectives for dealing with unemployment. In this regard, deconstruction is helpful to develop sensitivity to the language used and the ontologies that inform the language used when addressing unemployment in South Africa.
articles in russian
12. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 49
Людмила Фирсова, Игорь Черных Философские принципы новой экономики
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A new economy is forming nowadays. Many foreign and domestic scientists are searching for the philosophical problems of the new economy. New theoretical system of management philosophy is analyzed - ethical savings, and an integrating factor in all aspects of the system, some scientists say, is the principle of justice. “The club economy” is also considered, i.e. various associations that people create for their own interests (collective community of citizens or more complex forms of association for joint activities). The club, according to the Russian scientist Professor Dolgin, promises a form of a free society. Principles of justice, freedom, happiness are considered as the fundamental principles of the philosophy of the modern economy.
13. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 49
Bahodirjon Ganiev Философский анализ культуры предпринимательства
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In the conditions of market economy mutual relations between manufacturers of the goods and services, manufacturers and sellers, sellers and buyers leave on higher professional level. The satisfaction of those or others requirements isn’t fixed any more by simple search of the goods or service, but also ethical and aesthetic satisfaction from process of manufacture, realization and purchase of the goods and services. In this attitude the socially-philosophical analysis of culture of business will help to form business culture of the businessman in his mutual relations with the state structures and a society of consumers. In Uzbekistan the great attention is given not only to formation, but also perfection of culture of business at all levels, since small and private business which gets the increasing popularity in our country and competent support from the state. At program on evolutionary transition to market rela-tions realization in Uzbekistan all possible changes and consequences from negative influence of by-effects are considered. Therefore the state undertakes considerable efforts for support of socially vulnerable levels of population for the purpose of private sector creation in business, family business and other forms of business activity, and also for formation of culture of business.
articles in greek
14. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 49
Νικόλαος Προγούλης Παραγωγική και μη παραγωγική VS. χρήσιμη και άχρηστη εργασία
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Υπάρχουν άχρηστες εργασίες, δηλαδή εργασίες από τις οποίες μια κοινωνία θα μπορούσε να απαλλαχθεί χωρίς καμία επίπτωση στην ομαλή της λειτουργία και την υλική της ευημερία; Σημείο εκκίνησης είναι οι έννοιες της παραγωγικής και μη παραγωγικής εργασίας, όπως διατυπώθηκαν από τον Adam Smith και τον Marx. Ωστόσο και για τους δύο αυτούς διανοητές ορισμένες μη παραγωγικές εργασίες μπορεί να είναι για διαφόρους λόγους απαραίτητες. Η έννοια της άχρηστης εργασίας, αν και σχετίζεται με την έννοια της μη παραγωγικής εργασίας, την υπερβαίνει κατά το ότι υποδηλώνει εκείνες τις εργασίες, από τις οποίες μια κοινωνία θα μπορούσε να απαλλαχθεί πλήρως. Η άχρηστη εργασία μπορεί να ανιχνευτεί σε δύο πεδία: α) Σε δραστηριότητες, καθ’ όλα νόμιμες που απλώς ιδιοποιούνται πλούτο που παράγεται από άλλες. Και β) Σε δραστηριότητες που είναι απαραίτητες για την κάλυψη εσωτερικών αναγκών του συγκεκριμένου οικονομικού συστήματος. Κάθε οικονομικό και κοινωνικό σύστημα έχει ανάγκη από κάποιες εργασίες που βοηθούν στην ομαλή αναπαραγωγή του. Μόνο υπό ένα διαφορετικό πρίσμα, εκείνο μιας άλλης, ριζικά διαφορετικής κοινωνίας, το θεωρούμενο χρήσιμο, παραγωγικό, ή ορθολογικό μετατρέπεται σε άχρηστο, μη-παραγωγικό, ανορθολογικό ή σπάταλο. Από την άποψη λοιπόν μιας κοινωνίας, που παράγει όχι για το κέρδος, αλλά για να καλύψει τις ανάγκες των μελών της και όπου μια σχετική ισοκατανομή αποτρέπει την υπερβάλλουσα κατανάλωση εκ μέρους ενός μικρού ποσοστού προνομιούχων, προσπαθούμε να διακρίνουμε τη χρήσιμη από την άχρηστη εργασία