In this systematic introduction to the philosophy of Charles S. Peirce, the author focuses on four of Peirce's fundamental conceptions: pragmatism and Peirce's development of it into what he called 'pragmaticism'; his theory of signs; his phenomenology; and his theory that continuity is of prime importance for philosophy. He argues that at the centre of Peirce's philosophical project is a unique form of metaphysical realism, whereby continuity and evolutionary change are both necessary for our understanding of experience. In his final (...) chapter Professor Hausman applies this version of realism to contemporary controversies between anti-realists and anti-idealists. Peirce's views are compared to those of such contemporary figures as Davidson, Putnam, and Rorty. The book will be of particular interest to philosophers concerned with American philosophy and current debates on realism as well as linguists working in semiotics. (shrink)
John Stuart Mill regards economics as an inexact and separate science which employs a deductive method. This paper analyzes and restates Mill's views and considers whether they help one to understand philosophical peculiarities of contemporary microeconomic theory. The author concludes that it is philosophically enlightening to interpret microeconomics as an inexact and separate science, but that Mill's notion of a deductive method has only a little to contribute.
Interpreting a scene of lactation failure allows us to represent breast-feeding as a contested social practice. This essay reads a novelistic scene of lactation failure in the context of the decline of breast-feeding in the twentieth century. The protagonist's ignorance of the female experiences of pregnancy, childbirth, and lactation is an effect of her objectification within the opposition between science and nature. Unnatural as a woman because she is a natural individual, the pastor's wife exemplifies the dilemmas of breast-feeding as (...) a biosocial practice of maternity in a technological society which features the breakdown of traditional female networks in which knowledge about maternity and breast-feeding are circulated. (shrink)
Burning fossil fuel in the North American continent contributes more to the CO2 global warming problem than in any other continent. The resulting climate changes are expected to alter food production. The overall changes in temperature, moisture, carbon dioxide, insect pests, plant pathogens, and weeds associated with global warming are projected to reduce food production in North America. However, in Africa, the projected slight rise in rainfall is encouraging, especially since Africa already suffers from severe shortages of rainfall. For all (...) regions, a reduction in fossil fuel burning is vital. Adoption of sound ecological resource management, especially soil and water conservation and the prevention of deforestation, is important. Together, these steps will benefit agriculture, the environment, farmers, and society as a whole. (shrink)
: When language is expressed metaphorically, metaphors seem to "say" something that has never seen said before. Some of them seem to express insights. What then are the constraints on their interpretations? Charles Peirce's semeiotic suggests a way to answer the question. Crucial to the answer is Peirce's account of semeiotic objects as two-fold, one side, the dynamic or "real" object to be interpreted, the other side, the immediate object, which is the dynamic object that has been interpreted. The interaction (...) account of metaphor is reviewed and related to Peirce's conception of semeiotic objects. The result is my suggestion that the dynamic objects to which metaphorical objects are directed are transformed into interpreted, immediate objects through the mediation of incipient immediate objects. Incipient immediate objects initially appear as dyadic objects recognized through identity expressions—e.g., "Juliet is the sun," which is not a classification but an identification of the referents of the subject and the predicate. The incipient mediating immediate object parallels the percipium referred to in Peirce's account of the formation of perceptual judgments, which are interpretations of percepts. (shrink)
This paper argues that egalitarian theories should be judged by the degree to which they meet four different challenges. Fundamentalist egalitarianism, which contends that certain inequalities are intrinsically bad or unjust regardless of their consequences, fails to meet these challenges. Building on discussions by T.M. Scanlon and David Miller, we argue that egalitarianism is better understood in terms of commitments to six egalitarian objectives. A consequence of our view, in contrast to Martin O'Neill's “non-intrinsic egalitarianism,“ is that egalitarianism is better (...) understood as a family of views than as a single ethical position. (shrink)
While very much in Sen's camp in rejecting revealed preference theory and emphasizing the complexity, incompleteness, and context dependence of preference and the intellectual costs of supposing that all the factors influencing choice can be captured by a single notion of preference, this essay contests his view that economists should recognize multiple notions of preference. It argues that Sen's concerns are better served by embracing a single conception of preference and insisting on the need for analysis of the multiple factors (...) that determine ‘preference’ so conceived. (shrink)
expose some gaps and difficulties in the argument for the causal Markov condition in our essay ‘Independence, Invariance and the Causal Markov Condition’ (), and we are grateful for the opportunity to reformulate our position. In particular, Cartwright disagrees vigorously with many of the theses we advance about the connection between causation and manipulation. Although we are not persuaded by some of her criticisms, we shall confine ourselves to showing how our central argument can be reconstructed and to casting doubt (...) on Cartwright's claim that the causal Markov condition typically fails when there are indeterministic by-products. Why believe the causal Markov condition? Causation and manipulation The argument Indeterministic by-products and the causal Markov condition The chemical factory counterexample and PM2 Conclusions: causation and manipulability. (shrink)
People have thought about economics for as long as they have thought about how to manage their households, and indeed Aristotle assimilated the study of the economic affairs of a city to the study of the management of a household. During the two millennia between Aristotle and Adam Smith, one finds reflections concerning economic problems mainly in the context of discussions of moral or policy questions. For example, scholastic philosophers commented on money and interest in inquiries concerning the justice of (...) "usury" (charging interest on money loans), and in the 17th century, there was a great deal of discussion of policy concerning foreign trade. Economics only emerged as a distinct field of study with the bold 18th-century idea that there were "economies"--that is autonomous law-governed systems of human interaction involving production, distribution and exchange. This view is already well developed in Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations, from which much of economics derives. (shrink)
This essay is concerned with the problems of justice created by spillovers. After characterizing such spillovers more precisely and relating the concept to the economist's notion of an externality, I shall then consider the moral conclusions concerning spillovers that issue from a natural rights perspective and from the perspective of welfare economics supplemented with theories of distributive justice. I shall argue that these perspectives go badly awry in taking spillovers to be the exception rather than the rule in human interactions.
The rise of popular culture programs in universities is to a significant degree a consequence of the rejection of a particular theory of aesthetics. According to this older, rejected view, the classical, “fine” arts were considered—largely on the basis of complexity of form—higher, more refined, more admirable, and of greater value than other kinds of “popular” creative activities. While the former were the subject of intense critical study, the latter were neglected, seen as unworthy of serious attention. Ultimately, the sociological (...) fact that these classical forms of culture were intimately connected to a certain privileged socioeconomic strata—society’s “elite”—triggered a reassessment of not only the canon but .. (shrink)
: This commentary distinguishes five reasons why one might want to conduct a survey concerning people's beliefs about death and the permissibility of harvesting organs: (1) simply to learn what people know and want; (2) to determine if current law and practice conform to the wishes of the population; (3) to determine the level of popular support for or opposition to policy changes; (4) to ascertain the causes and effects of popular beliefs and attitudes; and (5) to provide guidance in (...) determining which laws and practices are ethical. The commentary expresses qualms about how well surveys in general can perform with respect to the fifth objective, and it provides specific reasons to doubt whether this survey is informative from the perspective of a moral philosopher concerned with the nature of death and the contours of a permissible system of organ procurement. (shrink)
Abstract Contrary to Peter J. Boettke's essay, ?What Went Wrong with Economics??, there is no connection between ?formalism? and the alleged inability of mainstream economists to regard theoretical models as anything other than either depictions of real market economies or bases for criticizing market economies and justifying government intervention. Although Boettke's criticisms of the excesses of formalism are justified, Austrian economists such as Boettke need to justify their view that government interventions into economic affairs are inevitably harmful.
Carl Hausman is a former editor of The Journal of Speculative Philosophy, a revival of one of the first American philosophy journals, where Peirce published some of his early work; and Hausman has devoted a good deal of his career to Peirce scholarship. He interprets Peirce’s thought “as a fallibilistic foundationalism that affirms a unique realism according to which what is real is a dynamic, evolving extramental condition.” The theme is an interesting one partly in view of the (...) many recent criticisms of foundationalism, some drawing on pragmatist sources. It promises to re-emphasize more conservative moments of the pragmatic conception of inquiry. Similarly, Hausman’s approach highlights the historical continuities between pragmatism and realism in American philosophy. Still, if Peircean realism implies evolutionary pressure due to “extra-mental” conditions, this suggests a question. Can we also expect a corresponding realism or autonomy of human lives, thought, and cultures—themselves evolving through their interactions? A positive answer here might help avoid the de-centering excesses of contemporary anti-foundationalists, implying social and institutional space for cross-fertilizations, innovations, and the rejection of social-institutional rigidities. (shrink)
Even if falsificationism in the strict Popper-Lakatos sense may be too harsh for economics, falsifiability and refutability are eminent criteria for theory appraisal. Hausman's (1997) revision of his (1992) methodology of economics does not come sufficiently close to meeting such a methodological requirement and risks allowing the prioritising of irrefutable theories over empirical phenomena. It therefore needs further advancement.
Hausman has argued that Mill in the Logic demands verification of qualified, inexact statements if they are to be considered lawlike. This puts Mill in line with a reasonable interpretation of what modern microeconomists are about, but requires the additional hypothesis that Mill abandoned his earlier stress on modal truth in his 1836 essay on the method of economics. The paper maintains that neither textual nor contextual evidence supports this hypothesis. Moreover, it is superfluous if one attends carefully (...) to how Mill conceived economic science, which occupied a peculiar, somewhat isolated place in his own views on the deductive method and on verification. (shrink)
In their rich and intricate paper ‘Independence, Invariance, and the Causal Markov Condition’, Daniel Hausman and James Woodward () put forward two independent theses, which they label ‘level invariance’ and ‘manipulability’, and they claim that, given a specific set of assumptions, manipulability implies the causal Markov condition. These claims are interesting and important, and this paper is devoted to commenting on them. With respect to level invariance, I argue that Hausman and Woodward's discussion is confusing because, as I (...) point out, they use different senses of ‘intervention’ and ‘invariance’ without saying so. I shall remark on these various uses and point out that the thesis is true in at least two versions. The second thesis, however, is not true. I argue that in their formulation, the manipulability thesis is patently false and that a modified version does not fare better. Furthermore, I think their proof that manipulability implies the causal Markov condition is not conclusive. In the deterministic case it is valid but vacuous, whereas it is invalid in the probabilistic case. 1 Introduction 2 Intervention, invariance and modularity 3 The causal Markov condition: CM1 and CM2 4 From MOD to the causal Markov condition and back 5 A second argument for CM2 6 The proof of the causal Markov condition for probabilistic causes 7 ‘Cartwright's objection’ defended 8 Metaphysical defenses of the causal Markov condition 9 Conclusion. (shrink)
Woodward present an argument for the Causal Markov Condition (CMC) on the basis of a principle they dub ‘modularity’ ([1999, 2004]). I show that the conclusion of their argument is not in fact the CMC but a substantially weaker proposition. In addition, I show that their argument is invalid and trace this invalidity to two features of modularity, namely, that it is stated in terms of pairwise independence and ‘arrow-breaking’ interventions. Hausman & Woodward's argument can be rendered valid through (...) a reformulation of modularity, but it is doubtful that the argument so revised provides any substantially new insight regarding the basis of the CMC. Introduction The CMC versus Hausman & Woodward's conclusion Hausman & Woodward's argument Modularity and independent error terms Conclusion Appendix: D-separation. (shrink)
Contents Part I: Idealism Berkeley's Idealism: Yet Another Visit/Edwin B. Allaire On Allaire's ""Another Visit""/Alan Hausman and David Hausman A New Approach to Berkeley's Ideal Reality/ Alan Hausman and David Hausman On the Hausmans's ""A ...
The paper discusses the sense in which the changes undergone by normative economics in the twentieth century can be said to be progressive. A simple criterion is proposed to decide whether a sequence of normative theories is progressive. This criterion is put to use on the historical transition from the new welfare economics to social choice theory. The paper reconstructs this classic case, and eventually concludes that the latter theory was progressive compared with the former. It also briefly comments on (...) the recent developments in normative economics and their connection with the previous two stages. (Published Online April 18 2006) Footnotes1 This paper suspersedes an earlier one entitled “Is There Progress in Normative Economics?” (Mongin 2002). I thank the organizers of the Fourth ESHET Conference (Graz 2000) for the opportunity they gave me to lecture on this topic. Thanks are also due to J. Alexander, K. Arrow, A. Bird, R. Bradley, M. Dascal, W. Gaertner, N. Gravel, D. Hausman, B. Hill, C. Howson, N. McClennen, A. Trannoy, J. Weymark, J. Worrall, two annonymous referees of this journal, and especially the editor M. Fleurbaey, for helpful comments. The editor's suggestions contributed to determine the final orientation of the paper. The author is grateful to the LSE and the Lachmann Foundation for their support at the time when he was writing the initial version. (shrink)
There has been an intense discussion, albeit largely an implicit one, concerning the inference of causal hypotheses from statistical correlations in quantum mechanics ever since John Bell’s first statement of his notorious theorem in 1966. As is well known, its focus has mainly been the so-called Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen (“EPR”) thought experiment, and the ensuing observed correlations in real EPR like experiments. But although implicitly the discussion goes as far back as Bell’s work, it is only in the last two decades that (...) it has become recognizably and explicitly a debate about causal inference in the quantum realm. The bulk of this paper is devoted to a review of three influential arguments in the philosophical literature that aim to show that causal models for the EPR correlations are impossible, due to Bas Van Fraassen, Daniel Hausman and Huw Price. I contend that all these arguments are inconclusive since they contain premises or presuppositions that are false, unwarranted, or at least controversial. Five different common cause models are outlined that seem perfectly viable for the EPR correlations. These models are then employed to illustrate various difficulties with the premises and presuppositions underlying Van Fraassen’s, Hausman’s and Price’s arguments. In all these cases it is argued that the difficulties cut deep against these authors’ own theories of causation and causal inference. My conclusions are that causal models for the EPR correlations remain viable, that philosophical work is still required to assess their relative virtues, and that in any case the mere theoretical conceivability and empirical possibility of these models sheds doubts over Van Fraassen’s, Hausman’s and (important elements in) Price’s theories of causation and causal inference. (shrink)
This article shows how the MISS account of models—as isolations and surrogate systems—accommodates and elaborates Sugden’s account of models as credible worlds and Hausman’s account of models as explorations. Theoretical models typically isolate by means of idealization, and they are representatives of some target system, which prompts issues of resemblance between the two to arise. Models as representations are constrained both ontologically (by their targets) and pragmatically (by the purposes and audiences of the modeller), and these relations are coordinated (...) by a model commentary. Surrogate models are often about single mechanisms. They are distinguishable from substitute models, which are examined without any concern about their connections with the target. Models as credible worlds are surrogate models that are believed to provide access to their targets on account of their credibility (of which a few senses are distinguished). (shrink)
In this paper today, I would like to offer a new analysis of causation and of causal claims. It is an unorthodox one, as you will see, but I suspect that in the not too distant future it will be seen as intuitively, perhaps even trivially, true. I hardly need defend the urgency of my project. Ever since Hume, philosophers have wondered whether there are causes. This is a desperate situation. With no causes, it's hard to see how brushing my (...) teeth is likely to prevent tooth decay. Indeed, it would not be unreasonable to read Hume as an advocate of rotten teeth, which might explain the sad state that many British mouths find themselves in today. The attentive listener will have noted that I said Hume's advocacy of rotten teeth might explain the abysmal state of British oral hygiene. Of course, if Hume is right about causation then nothing explains anything, and that explains why I have been tentative in my claim. The account I would like to propose is this. The claim ‘x causes y’ is to be understood in the following way: ‘x makes y happen’. That is, to say that x is the cause of y is just to say that x makes y happen. Or, to put it more succinctly, if x is the cause of y, then x makes y happen. This is no doubt a startling claim, and one in need of further clarification and defense. To begin, I should like to contrast my analysis with another that might, on its surface, appear similar. Suppose one were to claim that 'x is the cause of y' means that x brings y about. But ‘bringing about’ is hardly an informative verbal clause, and does little ampliative work. This way of putting it lacks the opaque transparency that we’ve come to expect of philosophical analyses of causation. Now this new account is not necessarily inconsistent with other, more traditional analyses, such as Lewis and Hausman's analyses of causation in terms of counterfactuals or Eells' probabilistic theory of causation. Consider first counterfactual analyses of causation. These are efforts to account for the meaning of causal dependencies.. (shrink)
Contemporary developments in economicmethodology have produced a vibrant agenda ofcompeting positions. These include, amongothers, constructivism, critical realism andrhetoric, with each contributing to the Realistvs. Pragmatism debate in the philosophies of thesocial sciences. A major development in theneo-pragmatist contribution to economicmethodology has been Quine's pragmatic assaulton the dogmas of empiricism, which are nowclearly acknowledged within contemporaryeconomic methodology. This assault isencapsulated in the celebrated Duhem-Quinethesis, which according to a number ofcontemporary leading philosophers of economics,poses a particularly serious methodologicalproblem for economics. This problem, (...) asreflected in Hausman's analysis, consists ofthe inability of economics to learn fromexperience, thereby subverting the capacity totest economic theories. In this paper wedispute this position. Our argument is basedon a combination of Quine's holism with VanFraassen's constructive empiricism, especiallythe latter's analysis of empirical adequacy andhis pragmatic approach to explanation. Theresulting reorientation of economic methodologyrestores the capacity of economics to learnfrom experience and reinstates the imperativeof developing alternatives to orthodoxtheorizing in economics. (shrink)
This is an assessment of two recent philosophical accounts of the nature of economics, those given in Alexander Rosenberg's Economics - Mathematical Politics or the Science of Diminishing Returns? (1992) and in Daniel Hausman's The Inexact and Separate Science of Economics (1992). The focus is on how they portray the predictive capabilities of economics and the links between economic theory and empirical evidence. Some major suggestions of the two books are found wanting in interesting ways. Examples are Rosenberg's explanation (...) of the predictive weakness of economics in terms of its folk psychological roots and his depiction of economics as a branch of political philosophy and applied mathematics; and Hausman's claim that the ?economists? deductive method? is appropriate while ?economics as a separate science? is not. (shrink)
Abstract Economic formalism crowds out the analysis of change and adjustments to change under capitalism. The style of analytical narrative that was practiced by the first generation of neoclassical economists, in contrast, is more productive of genuine economic understanding. Despite Daniel Haus?man's challenging argument to the contrary, I maintain that Joseph Stiglitz's work is formalist at its core. While I agree with Robert Heilbroner's critique of contemporary economics, there is a limited sense in which nonformalist economics can rely on universalistic (...) assumptions. And Thomas Mayer has provided useful guidelines for focusing nonformalist analysis on real?world economic problems. (shrink)
In social sciences, particularly in economics, ceteris paribus clauses give rise to special methodological problems, which make difficult both to regard its generalizations as genuine laws and to test such laws empirically. Daniel Hausman claims that the problem with ceteris paribus clauses in economics is that their content is not fully specified. This paper aims to discuss and criticize Hausman’s reconstruction of an economic law and his ideas as to how they could be tested. Particularly, it will be (...) argued that (a) Hausman does not explain how empirical evidence could be used to evaluate economic generalizations qualified by vaguely specified ceteris paribus clauses; (b) his explanation of the fundamental economic laws is careful and persuasive, but it makes impossible to test them empirically, both in experimental and ordinary economic settings; (c) although Hausman is not concerned with derived economic laws, according to his viewpoint they could, in principle, be tested; unfortunately, however, the tendency to include subjective factors among the clauses’ explicit components makes them also practically nontestable. Finally (d) it will be argued that the real problem with ceteris paribus clauses in economics is to be found in their failure to be well articulated by a social and economic theory. (shrink)
The practice of neoclassical economics is characterized as an ?axiomatic positivism?, which is far removed from the official (Popper-Lakatos) methodology of neoclassicism. Hausman (1992) attempts to provide a full revision of that official methodology, for which he takes recourse to the methodological work of J.S. Mill. Hausman's methodology is problematical because of: (1) an inadequate distinction between a normative and a descriptive methodology; (2) an insufficient consideration of the empirical stages of theory appraisal; (3) a misleading account of (...) the tendential character of economic generalizations, as revealed by his treatment of them as ceteris paribus formulations. Further, an arbitrary part of the theory assessment in Hausman's approach seems to run in praxeological terms, apparently divorced from the methodological appraisal. (shrink)
In a series of articles later collected in his book The Lost Art of Economics, David Colander argues that the dichotomous distinction of positive and normative economics has misled economists into treating applied policy economics as part of positive economics and hence adopting the methodology of positive economics for applied policy analysis. Colander therefore urges a reintroduction of the art of economics and calls for a serious discussion on the appropriate methodology for applied policy work. This paper first explores some (...) points not thoroughly examined by Colander in his arguments regarding the art of economics, in particular on its scope and the nature of judgements in the art of economics. It then examines the potential challenges to the tripartite division of economics, the presupposition of Colander's arguments for the art of economics, by examining, respectively, Tony Lawson's and Daniel Hausman's discussion on positive economics as a separate body of knowledge. (shrink)