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180096 SE Economic Models and Reality: Topics in Philosophy of Economics (2020S)

5.00 ECTS (2.00 SWS), SPL 18 - Philosophie
Continuous assessment of course work

Registration/Deregistration

Note: The time of your registration within the registration period has no effect on the allocation of places (no first come, first served).

Details

max. 30 participants
Language: English

Lecturers

Classes (iCal) - next class is marked with N

This course now takes place online, at the planned pace. Please have a look at Moodle or contact me.

Tuesday 10.03. 16:45 - 18:15 Hörsaal 3C, NIG Universitätsstraße 7/Stg. II/3. Stock, 1010 Wien
Tuesday 17.03. 16:45 - 18:15 Hörsaal 3C, NIG Universitätsstraße 7/Stg. II/3. Stock, 1010 Wien
Tuesday 24.03. 16:45 - 18:15 Hörsaal 3C, NIG Universitätsstraße 7/Stg. II/3. Stock, 1010 Wien
Tuesday 31.03. 16:45 - 18:15 Hörsaal 3C, NIG Universitätsstraße 7/Stg. II/3. Stock, 1010 Wien
Tuesday 21.04. 16:45 - 18:15 Hörsaal 3C, NIG Universitätsstraße 7/Stg. II/3. Stock, 1010 Wien
Tuesday 28.04. 16:45 - 18:15 Hörsaal 3C, NIG Universitätsstraße 7/Stg. II/3. Stock, 1010 Wien
Tuesday 05.05. 16:45 - 18:15 Hörsaal 3C, NIG Universitätsstraße 7/Stg. II/3. Stock, 1010 Wien
Tuesday 12.05. 16:45 - 18:15 Hörsaal 3C, NIG Universitätsstraße 7/Stg. II/3. Stock, 1010 Wien
Tuesday 19.05. 16:45 - 18:15 Hörsaal 3C, NIG Universitätsstraße 7/Stg. II/3. Stock, 1010 Wien
Tuesday 26.05. 16:45 - 18:15 Hörsaal 3C, NIG Universitätsstraße 7/Stg. II/3. Stock, 1010 Wien
Tuesday 09.06. 16:45 - 18:15 Hörsaal 3C, NIG Universitätsstraße 7/Stg. II/3. Stock, 1010 Wien
Tuesday 16.06. 16:45 - 18:15 Hörsaal 3C, NIG Universitätsstraße 7/Stg. II/3. Stock, 1010 Wien
Tuesday 23.06. 16:45 - 18:15 Hörsaal 3C, NIG Universitätsstraße 7/Stg. II/3. Stock, 1010 Wien
Tuesday 30.06. 16:45 - 18:15 Hörsaal 3C, NIG Universitätsstraße 7/Stg. II/3. Stock, 1010 Wien

Information

Aims, contents and method of the course

Economists use models to explain reality. A consequence is that, upon choosing with which model to work, they are influenced by their use of two notoriously disputed concepts: that of ‘explanation’ and that of ‘reality.’ Samuelson’s (1938) classical defense of revealed preference theory is a good example of the phenomenon. First, he asserts that “the discrediting of utility as a psychological concept robbed it of its only possible virtue as an explanation of human behaviour.” Second, he draws on an implicit understanding of what a good explanation is to show, without using the “discredited concept,” how one may build a satisfactory theory of consumer behavior.

Nowadays, most mainstream economic models involve mental kinds (preferences, desires, beliefs, motives, intentions,…) as well as social kinds (households, firms, money, race, gender, …). The use of some such kinds may appear, at first sight, to run against the idea of of scientific explanation. It may not be clear, for instance, what their ontological status is nor whether this status allows us to include them in a causal account of human behavior. Such considerations may give economists a reason to shy away from using mental or social kinds in their models. It may also give them a reason to think of the role of models in a specific way. In this seminar, we will discuss selected papers and book excerpts that took a central place in the analytical tradition of philosophy of mind and in social ontology.

At the end of the term, students will be familiar with a framework within which the nature of the social sciences can be discussed.

Assessment and permitted materials

It is expected from each student that, in preparation of each seminar, s/he reads the assigned texts and completes a short homework. During class, the homework questions will be discussed in groups, so students should be able to stand for or critically come back on what they wrote in the homework submission. In addition, each student is expected to give one presentation during the term and to write a term paper.

Ten (out of twelve) homework submissions will enable the student to earn up to 20 points out of a 100.

The presentation will enable the student to earn up to 20 points out of a 100.

The term paper (submitted by July 15th, 23:59) will enable the student to earn up to 60 points out of a 100.

Minimum requirements and assessment criteria

The grading will then be as follows:

85-100 points, 1
70-85 points, 2
60-70 points , 3
50-60 points, 4
less than 50 points, 5.

A positive evaluation requires students to achieve a pass grade (4) and to actively attend the seminar. Two unauthorized absences will be excused.

Examination topics

Part I: Philosophy of Mind
Part II: Social Ontology

Reading list

Readings will be made available on MOODLE in due time. All assigned readings will be in English.

Association in the course directory

Last modified: Mo 07.09.2020 15:21