A comparison of rational addiction and time inconsistency models of addiction highlights the complexities of model selection when researchers have goals in addition to empirical fit. Although currently the two models of addiction are underdetermined by data, each offers a different understanding of addiction; moreover, the two models offer starkly different policy implications. When the goals of understanding and policy usefulness are added to the goal of empirical fit, a more complex account of model selection is needed. First, the principle (...) of parsimony loses some of its force when researchers also value understanding and policy usefulness. Second, when economists value understanding as well as pure prediction, a broader justification of the realism of assumptions becomes possible. Third, because radically different policy advice flows from these empirically equivalent models, this literature underscores the difficulty of separating the seemingly positive analysis of consumer behavior from normative analysis. (shrink)
Exploring recent controversies over the role of ethics in economics, The Boundaries of Technique encourages scholars and students to discover and debate the ways in which economics is insulated from ethics, and the ways in which it is dependent upon it. Ultimately, by bringing readers to a deeper awareness of the intrinsic involvement of the individual and the responsibility of moral choice, Yuengert makes an invaluable contriubtion to the study and practice of economics.
The debate over whether or not economics is value-free has focused on the fact-value distinction: “is” does not imply “ought.” This paper approaches the role of ethics in economics from a Thomistic perspective, focusing not on the content of economic analysis, but on the actions taken by economic researchers. Positive economics, when it satisfies Aristotle's definition of technique, enjoys a certain autonomy from ethics, an autonomy limited by a technique's dependence for guidance and justification on ethical reflection. The modern isolation (...) of technique from ultimate ends entails the risk of mistaking the proximate ends of economics for ultimate ends, especially when applying economic methods in new ways or to new social phenomena. (shrink)
The social sciences, and particularly economics, play an important role in business. This article reviews the account of the interdisciplinary conversation between Catholic Social Teaching and the social sciences (especially economics) over the last century, and describes Benedict XVI’s development of this account in Caritas in Veritate . Over time the popes recognized that the technical approach of economics was a barrier to fruitful collaboration between economics and Catholic Social Teaching, both because the economic approach is reductionist, and because modern (...) social science is skeptical of comprehensive accounts of human nature. Through an appeal to charity in truth, one can deduce from Caritas in Veritate that economists, along with business and management theorists, need to take seriously the project of reflecting on and promoting true human goods in society. To love the person one must reflect on what is truly good for the person; to discover the true good of the person, one must love the person. (shrink)
This book taps the best American thinkers to answer the essential American question: How do we sustain our experiment in government of, by, and for the people? Authored by an extraordinary and politically diverse roster of public officials, scholars, and educators, these chapters describe our nation's civic education problem, assess its causes, offer an agenda for reform, and explain the high stakes at risk if we fail.
This collection maintains a dialogue between the analytic and continental traditions, while aspiring to situate itself beyond the analytic-continental divide. It divides into four parts, Methodologies, Truth and Meaning, Metaphysics and Ontology, and Values, Personhood and Agency, though there is considerable overlap among the categories. History and temporality are recurrent themes, but there is a lot of metaphysics generally, with some philosophy of language, philosophy of social science, ethics, political philosophy and epistemology. Less prominent is a pragmatic, deflationary attitude, and (...) at a number of points I argue for the virtues of such an approach. (shrink)