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  1. Francesco Guala, An Ontology of Economics?
    Ontology is one of today’s buzzwords. It is back in fashion in analytical philosophy and Artificial Intelligence, and major projects and research centres get funding around the world (cf. e.g. the Buffalo Centre for Ontological Research, the Laboratory for Ontology in Turin, the Institute for Formal Ontology and Medical Information Science in Saarland). In the philosophy of science ontology has arguably always been a key area of research, under the guise of ‘The foundations of __’ (physics, biology, chemistry, etc.). Economics (...)
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  2. Francesco Guala, Are There Lewis Conventions?
    David Lewis famously proposed to model conventions as solutions to coordination games, where equilibrium selection is driven by precedence, or the history of play. A characteristic feature of Lewis Conventions is that they are intrinsically nonnormative. Some philosophers have argued that for this reason they miss a crucial aspect of our folk notion of convention. It is doubtful however that Lewis was merely analysing a folk concept. I illustrate how his theory can (and must) be assessed using empirical data, and (...)
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  3. Francesco Guala, Experimental Economics, History Of.
    This is a slightly longer version of an entry prepared for the 2nd edition of The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics, edited by Steven Durlauf and Lawrence Blume (Palgrave-Macmillan, forthcoming). Since the New Palgrave does not include acknowledgments, I should use this chance to thank Roger Backhouse, Philippe Fontaine, Daniel Kahneman, Kyu Sang Lee, Ivan Moscati, and Vernon Smith for their help and suggestions in preparing this paper.
     
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  4. Francesco Guala, Experimentation in Economics.
    3.1 Experiments and causal analysis 3.2 The severity approach 3.3 Objectivist vs. Subjectivist approaches 3.4 “Low” vs. “high-level” hypothesis testing 3.5 Novelty and construct independence 4. External validity..
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  5. Francesco Guala (forthcoming). The Role of Experiments in Economics: Reply to Jones. Economics and Philosophy:1-9.
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  6. Francesco Guala (2014). Reflexivity and Equilibria. Journal of Economic Methodology 20 (4):397-405.
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  7. Francesco Guala (2013). Bargaining Power and the Evolution of Un-Fair, Non-Mutualistic Moral Norms. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 36 (1):92 - 93.
    Mutualistic theory explains convincingly the prevalence of fairness norms in small societies of foragers and in large contemporary democratic societies. However, it cannot explain the U-shaped curve of egalitarianism in human history. A theory based on bargaining power is able to provide a more general account and to explain mutualism as a special case. According to this approach, social norms may be more variable and malleable than Baumard et al. suggest.
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  8. Francesco Guala (2013). Symposium in Memory of G. A. Cohen (1941–2009). Economics and Philosophy 29 (1):1-1.
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  9. Francesco Guala (2013). The Normativity of Lewis Conventions. Synthese 190 (15):3107-3122.
    David Lewis famously proposed to model conventions as solutions to coordination games, where equilibrium selection is driven by precedence, or the history of play. A characteristic feature of Lewis Conventions is that they are intrinsically non-normative. Some philosophers have argued that for this reason they miss a crucial aspect of our folk notion of convention. It is doubtful however that Lewis was merely analysing a folk concept. I illustrate how his theory can (and must) be assessed using empirical data, and (...)
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  10. Pat Barclay & Francesco Guala (2012). Proximate and Ultimate Causes of Punishment and Strong Reciprocity. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 35 (1):16.
    While admirable, Guala's discussion of reciprocity suffers from a confusion between proximate causes (psychological mechanisms triggering behaviour) and ultimate causes (evolved function of those psychological mechanisms). Because much work on commits this error, I clarify the difference between proximate and ultimate causes of cooperation and punishment. I also caution against hasty rejections of of experimental evidence.
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  11. Nicolas Baumard & Francesco Guala (2012). The Restorative Logic of Punishment: Another Argument in Favor of Weak Selection. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 35 (1):17.
    Strong reciprocity theorists claim that punishment has evolved to promote the good of the group and to deter cheating. By contrast, weak reciprocity suggests that punishment aims to restore justice (i.e., reciprocity) between the criminal and his victim. Experimental evidences as well as field observations suggest that humans punish criminals to restore fairness rather than to support group cooperation.
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  12. Francesco Guala (2012). Reciprocity: Weak or Strong? What Punishment Experiments Do (and Do Not) Demonstrate. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 35 (1):1-15.
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  13. Francesco Guala (2012). Strong Reciprocity is Real, but There is No Evidence That Uncoordinated Costly Punishment Sustains Cooperation in the Wild. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 35 (1):45-59.
    I argue in my target article that field evidence does not support the costly punishment hypothesis. Some commentators object to my reading of the evidence, while others agree that evidence in favour of costly punishment is scant. Most importantly, no rigorous measurement of cost-benefit ratios in the field has been attempted so far. This lack of evidence does not rule out costly punishment as a cause of human cooperation, but it does pre-empt some overconfident claims made in the past. Other (...)
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  14. Francesco Guala (2012). The Evolutionary Programme in Social Philosophy. In Harold Kincaid (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Social Science. Oxford University Press. 436.
  15. Dwight Read & Francesco Guala (2012). Culture: The Missing Piece in Theories of Weak and Strong Reciprocity. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 35 (1):35.
    Guala does not go far enough in his critique of the assumption that human decisions about sharing made in the context of experimental game conditions accurately reflect decision-making under real conditions. Sharing of hunted animals is constrained by cultural rules and is not as assumed in models of weak and strong reciprocity. Missing in these models is the cultural basis of sharing that makes it a group property rather than an individual one.
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  16. Alejandro Rosas & Francesco Guala (2012). Towards a Unified Theory of Reciprocity. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 35 (1):36.
    In a unified theory of human reciprocity, the strong and weak forms are similar because neither is biologically altruistic and both require normative motivation to support cooperation. However, strong reciprocity is necessary to support cooperation in public goods games. It involves inflicting costs on defectors; and though the costs for punishers are recouped, recouping costs requires complex institutions that would not have emerged if weak reciprocity had been enough.
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  17. Juan José Acero, Tobies Grimaltos, David Pineda, Frank Arntzenius, Francesco Guala, Marek Polanski, Ana Barahona, Andrew Hamilton, Josep Lluis Prades & Josep Maria Bech (2011). Informantes de THEORIA (2009-2010) Referees for THEORIA (2009-2010). Theoria 70:119.
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  18. Francesco Guala (2011). Theory-Centrism in Experimental Economics. Journal of Economic Methodology 18 (01):83-86.
  19. Francesco Guala (2010). Cooperation in and Out of the Lab: A Comment on Binmore's Paper. [REVIEW] Mind and Society 9 (2):159-169.
    The disagreement between Binmore and the “behaviouralists” concerns mainly the kind of reciprocity mechanisms that sustain cooperation in and out of the experimental laboratory. Although Binmore’s scepticism concerning Strong Reciprocity is justified, his case for Weak Reciprocity and the long-run convergence to Nash equilibria is unsupported by laboratory evidence. Part of the reason is that laboratory evidence alone cannot solve the reciprocity controversy, and researchers should pay more attention to field data. As an example, I briefly illustrate a historical case (...)
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  20. Francesco Guala (2010). Extrapolation, Analogy, and Comparative Process Tracing. Philosophy of Science 77 (5):1070-1082.
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  21. Francesco Guala & Tim Hodgson (2010). The Philosopher in the Scanner (Or: How Can Neuroscience Contribute to Social Philosophy?). Journal of Economic Methodology 17 (2):147-157.
    Analytical philosophy has been challenged by experimental approaches that make use of, among other things, cognitive science methods. In this paper we illustrate the benefits of merging philosophy with neuroscience, using an example of research in the foundations of social science. We argue that designing novel experiments to answer specific philosophical questions has several advantages compared to relying passively on neuroscientists' data. In this particular case, the data redirect attention towards topics ? such as inductive reasoning ? that are relatively (...)
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  22. Daniel Steel & Francesco Guala (eds.) (2010). The Philosophy of Social Science Reader. Routledge.
    The Philosophy of Social Science Reader is an outstanding, comprehensive and up-to-date collection of key readings in the philosophy of social science, covering the essential issues, problems and debates in this important interdisciplinary area. Each section is carefully introduced by the editors, and the readings placed in context. The anthology is organized into seven clear parts: Values and Social Science Causal Inference and Explanation Interpretation Rationality and Choice Individualism Norms Cultural Evolution. Featuring the work of influential philosophers and social scientists (...)
     
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  23. Francesco Guala (2009). Emphasising Extrapolation. Metascience 18 (2):331-333.
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  24. Francesco Guala (2009). Esistono le convenzioni di Lewis? Rivista di Estetica 49 (41):141-159.
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  25. Francesco Guala (2009). Esperimenti paradigmatici: il gioco dell'Ultimatum. Humana. Mente 2009 (10):1-10.
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  26. Francesco Guala (2009). Methodological Issues in Experimental Design and Interpretation. In Harold Kincaid & Don Ross (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Economics. Oxford University Press. 280--281.
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  27. Francesco Guala (2008). First Page Preview. Journal of Economic Methodology 15 (2).
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  28. Francesco Guala (2008). Paradigmatic Experiments: The Ultimatum Game From Testing to Measurement Device. Philosophy of Science 75 (5):658-669.
    The Ultimatum Game is one of the most successful experimental designs in the history of the social sciences. In this article I try to explain this success—what makes it a “paradigmatic experiment”—stressing in particular its versatility. Despite the intentions of its inventors, the Ultimatum Game was never a good design to test economic theory, and it is now mostly used as a heuristic tool for the observation of nonstandard preferences or as a “social thermometer” for the observation of culture‐specific norms. (...)
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  29. Francesco Guala (2007). Book Review: Don Ross, Economic Theory and Cognitive Science. [REVIEW] Philosophical Papers 36 (1):163-169.
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  30. Francesco Guala (2007). Cristina Bicchieri • the Grammar of Society: The Nature and Dynamics of Social Norms. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 58 (3):613-618.
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  31. Francesco Guala (2007). The Philosophy of Social Science: Metaphysical and Empirical. Philosophy Compass 2 (6):954-980.
    opinionated survey paper to be published in the Blackwell’s Philosophy Compass.
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  32. Francesco Guala (2006). Critical Notice. Economics and Philosophy 22 (3):429-439.
  33. Francesco Guala (2006). Has Game Theory Been Refuted? Journal of Philosophy 103 (5):239-263.
    The answer in a nutshell is: Yes, five years ago, but nobody has noticed. Nobody noticed because the majority of social scientists subscribe to one of the following views: (1) the ‘anomalous’ behaviour observed in standard prisoner’s dilemma or ultimatum game experiments has refuted standard game theory a long time ago; (2) game theory is flexible enough to accommodate any observed choices by ‘refining’ players’ preferences; or (3) it is just a piece of pure mathematics (a tautology). None of these (...)
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  34. Francesco Guala (2006). Naissance de la biopolitique: Cours au Collège de France, 1978–1979, Michel Foucault. Edited by Michel Senellart. Seuil/Gallimard, 2004, xi + 355 pages. [REVIEW] Economics and Philosophy 22 (03):429-.
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  35. Francesco Guala (2005). Economics in the Lab: Completeness Vs. Testability. Journal of Economic Methodology 12 (2):185-196.
    Two important arguments in the methodological literature on experimental economics rely on the specification of a domain for economic theory. The first one is used by some experimenters in their skirmishes with economic theorists, and moves from the assumption that theories have (or ought to have) their domain of application written in their assumptions. The other one is used to play down the relevance of certain unwelcome experimental results, and moves from the symmetric assumption that the domain of economic theory (...)
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  36. Francesco Guala & Luigi Mittone (2005). Experiments in Economics: External Validity and the Robustness of Phenomena. Journal of Economic Methodology 12 (4):495-515.
    External validity is the problem of generalizing results from laboratory to non?laboratory conditions. In this paper we review various ways in which the problem can be tackled, depending on the kind of experiment one is doing. Using a concrete example, we highlight in particular the distinction between external validity and robustness, and point out that many experiments are not aimed at a well?specified real?world target but rather contribute to a ?library of robust phenomena?, a body of experimental knowledge to be (...)
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  37. Francesco Guala (2004). Fact and Fiction in Economics: Models, Realism and Social Construction, Edited by Uskali MÄKI. Cambridge University Press, 2002, VII + 384 Pages. [REVIEW] Economics and Philosophy 20 (1):217-223.
  38. Francesco Guala (2003). Experimental Localism and External Validity. Philosophy of Science 70 (5):1195-1205.
    Experimental “localism” stresses the importance of context‐specific knowledge, and the limitations of universal theories in science. I illustrate Latour's radical approach to localism and show that it has some unpalatable consequences, in particular the suggestion that problems of external validity (or how to generalize experimental results to nonlaboratory circumstances) cannot be solved. In the last part of the paper I try to sketch a solution to the problem of external validity by extending Mayo's error‐probabilistic approach.
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  39. Francesco Guala (2001). Clear-Cut Designs Versus the Uniformity of Experimental Practice. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 24 (3):412-413.
    Clear-cut designs have a number of methodological virtues, with respect to internal and external validity, which I illustrate by means of informal causal analysis. In contrast, a more uniform experimental practice across disciplines may not lead to progress if causal relations in the human sciences are highly dependent on the details of the context.
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  40. Francesco Guala & Stathis Psillos (2001). Models as Mediators. Perspectives on Natural and Social Science, Mary S. Morgan and Margaret Morrison (Eds.). Cambridge University Press, 1999, XI + 401 Pages. [REVIEW] Economics and Philosophy 17 (2):275-294.
  41. Francesco Guala & Andrea Salanti (2001). Theory, experiments, and explanation in economics. Revue Internationale de Philosophie 3:327-349.
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  42. Francesco Guala (2000). Artefacts in Experimental Economics: Preference Reversals and the Becker–Degroot–Marschak Mechanism. Economics and Philosophy 16 (1):47-75.
    Controversies in economics often fizzle out unresolved. One reason is that, despite their professed empiricism, economists find it hard to agree on the interpretation of the relevant empirical evidence. In this paper I will present an example of a controversial issue first raised and then solved by recourse to laboratory experimentation. A major theme of this paper, then, concerns the methodological advantages of controlled experiments. The second theme is the nature of experimental artefacts and of the methods devised to detect (...)
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  43. Francesco Guala (2000). The Logic of Normative Falsification: Rationality and Experiments in Decision Theory. Journal of Economic Methodology 7 (1):59-93.
    The paper investigates how normative considerations influenced the development of the theory of individual decision-making under risk. In the first part, the debate between Maurice Allais and the 'Neo-Bernoullians' (supporting the Expected Utility model) is reconstructed, in order to show that a controversy on the definition of rational decision and on the methodology of normative justification played a crucial role in legitimizing the Allais-paradox as genuinely refuting evidence. In the second part, it is shown how informal notions of rationality were (...)
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  44. Francesco Guala (1998). Experiments as Mediators in the Non-Laboratory Sciences. Philosophica 62.
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