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17th Congress on Logic, Methodology and Philosophy of Science and Technology: Science and Values in an Uncertain World

Title: Values and uncertainty in economics. Philosophical and methodological reflections (ECON)

Abstract:

 

This symposium aims at being a contribution to the main theme of the CLMPST 2023, Science and Values in an Uncertain World, as this theme is approached in the Philosophy and Methodology of Economics with an Iberoamerican perspective. The symposium is sponsored by the Iberoamerican Society for the Methodology of Economics (SIAME).

The economic environments in which humans live and interact are plagued by uncertainties, originated by different sources. However, economic theory has often neglected uncertainty. Values are linked to economics in different ways, to economic theory, to applied economics and to economic policies. In standard economic theory the agent prefers between values or ends. Each agent defines a utility function that is subjective and exogenous to the theory. Now, when an economic theory is applied, values are not an exogenous variable. Applied science and technology consist of finding the set of laws by which a desirable end is produced. It is necessary to justify the desirability of the end. Different aspects of these problems will be discussed in the talks constituting the symposium.

Interesting methodological approaches to both problems on uncertainty and values in Economics are offered by current trends like Behavioral Economics and Evolutionary Economics. The first provides theory-based and analogy-based models of reasoning in decision under uncertainty. The second can be applied to cases in meso-economics, based on an ontology that encloses by far the rules and agreements that shape institutions. Moreover, empirical methods of causal inference have been successfully applied by many economists. However, some limitations show that these methods have been overestimated. As far as values are related to ethics, a promising approach arises from analyzing the relevance of the relation between ethics and economic knowledge under Charles S. Pierce’s Pragmatism, linked to a realism-based Philosophy of Economics. These are the topics to be discussed by the speakers at the symposium. The individual talks are the following:

 

Speakers:

1) EDUARDO SCARANO: Applied economics and values

2) RICARDO CRESPO & FERNANDO TOHMÉ: Economics in an Uncertain World

3) JUAN JOSÉ JARDÓN URRIETA: The meso-economic level in the analysis of evolutionary economics

4) LUIS MIRELES-FLORES: Some problems with the empirical turn in economics

5) MARÍA ALEJANDRA MADI: Ethics and Scientific Knowledge in a Pragmatist Philosophy of Economics

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