66 found
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  1. The Methodology of Experimental Economics.Francesco Guala - 2005 - Cambridge University Press.
    The experimental approach in economics is a driving force behind some of the most exciting developments in the field. The 'experimental revolution' was based on a series of bold philosophical premises which have remained until now mostly unexplored. This book provides the first comprehensive analysis and critical discussion of the methodology of experimental economics, written by a philosopher of science with expertise in the field. It outlines the fundamental principles of experimental inference in order to investigate their power, scope and (...)
     
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  2. Reciprocity: Weak or Strong? What Punishment Experiments Do Demonstrate.Francesco Guala - 2012 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 35 (1):1-15.
    Strong Reciprocity theorists claim that cooperation in social dilemma games can be sustained by costly punishment mechanisms that eliminate incentives to free ride, even in one-shot and finitely repeated games. There is little doubt that costly punishment raises cooperation in laboratory conditions. Its efficacy in the field however is controversial. I distinguish two interpretations of experimental results, and show that the wide interpretation endorsed by Strong Reciprocity theorists is unsupported by ethnographic evidence on decentralised punishment and by historical evidence on (...)
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  3. A Unified Social Ontology.Francesco Guala & Frank Hindriks - 2015 - Philosophical Quarterly 65 (259):177-201.
    Current debates in social ontology are dominated by approaches that view institutions either as rules or as equilibria of strategic games. We argue that these two approaches can be unified within an encompassing theory based on the notion of correlated equilibrium. We show that in a correlated equilibrium each player follows a regulative rule of the form ‘if X then do Y’. We then criticize Searle's claim that constitutive rules of the form ‘X counts as Y in C’ are fundamental (...)
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  4.  21
    Preferences: Neither Behavioural nor Mental.Francesco Guala - 2019 - Economics and Philosophy 35 (3):383-401.
    Recent debates on the nature of preferences in economics have typically assumed that they are to be interpreted either as behavioural regularities or as mental states. In this paper I challenge this dichotomy and argue that neither interpretation is consistent with scientific practice in choice theory and behavioural economics. Preferences are belief-dependent dispositions with a multiply realizable causal basis, which explains why economists are reluctant to make a commitment about their interpretation.
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  5.  77
    Experimental Localism and External Validity.Francesco Guala - 2003 - 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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  6.  80
    A Political Justification of Nudging.Francesco Guala & Luigi Mittone - 2015 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 6 (3):385-395.
    Thaler and Sunstein justify nudge policies from welfaristic premises: nudges are acceptable because they benefit the individuals who are nudged. A tacit assumption behind this strategy is that we can identify the true preferences of decision-makers. We argue that this assumption is often unwarranted, and that as a consequence nudge policies must be justified in a different way. A possible strategy is to abandon welfarism and endorse genuine paternalism. Another one is to argue that the biases of decision that choice (...)
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  7. Has Game Theory Been Refuted?Francesco Guala - 2006 - 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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  8. The Philosophy of Social Science: Metaphysical and Empirical.Francesco Guala - 2007 - Philosophy Compass 2 (6):954-980.
    opinionated survey paper to be published in the Blackwell’s Philosophy Compass.
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  9.  30
    The Functions of Institutions: Etiology and Teleology.Frank Hindriks & Francesco Guala - 2019 - Synthese 198 (3):2027-2043.
    Institutions generate cooperative benefits that explain why they exist and persist. Therefore, their etiological function is to promote cooperation. The function of a particular institution, such as money or traffic regulations, is to solve one or more cooperation problems. We go on to argue that the teleological function of institutions is to secure values by means of norms. Values can also be used to redesign an institution and to promote social change. We argue, however, that an adequate theory of institutions (...)
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  10. The Normativity of Lewis Conventions.Francesco Guala - 2013 - 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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  11.  48
    Extrapolation, Analogy, and Comparative Process Tracing.Francesco Guala - 2010 - Philosophy of Science 77 (5):1070-1082.
  12.  43
    Paradigmatic Experiments: The Ultimatum Game From Testing to Measurement Device.Francesco Guala - 2008 - 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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  13.  39
    Experiments as Mediators in the Non-Laboratory Sciences.Francesco Guala - 1998 - Philosophica 62.
  14.  62
    Experiments in Economics: External Validity and the Robustness of Phenomena.Francesco Guala & Luigi Mittone - 2005 - 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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  15.  43
    Building Economic Machines: The FCC Auctions.Francesco Guala - 2001 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 32 (3):453-477.
    The auctions of the Federal Communication Commission, designed in 1994 to sell spectrum licences, are one of the few widely acclaimed and copied cases of economic engineering to date. This paper includes a detailed narrative of the process of designing, testing and implementing the FCC auctions, focusing in particular on the role played by game theoretical modelling and laboratory experimentation. Some general remarks about the scope, interpretation and use of rational choice models open and conclude the paper.
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  16.  27
    The Logic of Normative Falsification: Rationality and Experiments in Decision Theory.Francesco Guala - 2000 - 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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  17.  11
    The Problem of External Validity (or “Parallelism”) in Experimental Economics.Francesco Guala - 1999 - Social Science Information 38 (4):555-573.
    This article is in three parts: in the first section, a real case of laboratory experimentation in economics illustrates what experimentalists do in order to test the external validity of their results. Then, it is shown that such a practice presupposes a specific conception of the causal relations economists are seeking. Some general remarks about the notions of external validity and parallelism are provided in conclusion.
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  18.  37
    Précis of Understanding Institutions.Francesco Guala - 2018 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 48 (6):539-549.
    Understanding Institutions offers a theory that is able to unify the two dominant approaches in the scientific and philosophical literature on institutions. Moreover, using the ‘rules-in-equilibrium’ theory, it tackles several ancient puzzles in the philosophy of social science.
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  19.  19
    Replies to Critics.Francesco Guala - 2018 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 48 (6):630-645.
    I answer the questions raised by commentators, and clarify what Understanding Institutions tried to achieve.
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  20.  32
    Artefacts in Experimental Economics: Preference Reversals and the Becker–Degroot–Marschak Mechanism.Francesco Guala - 2000 - 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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  21.  35
    Naissance de la biopolitique: Cours au Collège de France, 1978–1979, Michel Foucault. Edited by Michel Senellart. Seuil/Gallimard, 2004, xi + 355 pages. [REVIEW]Francesco Guala - 2006 - Economics and Philosophy 22 (3):429.
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  22.  20
    Critical Notice.Francesco Guala - 2006 - Economics and Philosophy 22 (3):429-439.
    The title of this book is rather misleading. “Birth of neoliberal governmentality,” or something like that, would have been more faithful to its contents. In Foucault's vocabulary, “biopolitics” is the “rationalisation” of “governmentality” : it's the theory, in other words, as opposed to the art of managing people. The mismatch between title and content is easily explained: the general theme of the courses at the Collège de France had to be announced at the beginning of each academic year. It is (...)
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  23. Methodological Issues in Experimental Design and Interpretation.Francesco Guala - 2009 - In Harold Kincaid & Don Ross (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Economics. Oxford University Press. pp. 280--281.
     
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  24.  25
    Artificiality, Reactivity, and Demand Effects in Experimental Economics.Maria Jimenez-Buedo & Francesco Guala - 2016 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 46 (1):3-23.
    A series of recent debates in experimental economics have associated demand effects with the artificiality of the experimental setting and have linked it to the problem of external validity. In this paper, we argue that these associations can be misleading, partly because of the ambiguity with which “artificiality” has been defined, but also because demand effects and external validity are related in complex ways. We argue that artificiality may be directly as well as inversely correlated with demand effects. We also (...)
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  25. Experimentation in Economics.Francesco Guala - manuscript
    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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  26. The Restorative Logic of Punishment: Another Argument in Favor of Weak Selection.Nicolas Baumard & Francesco Guala - 2012 - 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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  27.  52
    Proximate and Ultimate Causes of Punishment and Strong Reciprocity.Pat Barclay & Francesco Guala - 2012 - 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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  28.  22
    Economics in the Lab: Completeness Vs. Testability.Francesco Guala - 2005 - 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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  29.  27
    Esistono le convenzioni di Lewis?Francesco Guala - 2009 - Rivista di Estetica 41:141-159.
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  30.  77
    Are There Lewis Conventions?Francesco Guala - 2008
    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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  31. Experimental Economics, History Of.Francesco Guala - manuscript
    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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  32.  6
    Theory, experiments, and explanation in economics.Francesco Guala & Andrea Salanti - 2001 - Revue Internationale de Philosophie 3:327-349.
  33.  14
    The Grammar of Society: The Nature and Dynamics of Social Norms. [REVIEW]Francesco Guala - 2007 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 58 (3):613-618.
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  34. An Ontology of Economics?Francesco Guala - unknown
    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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  35.  30
    Bargaining Power and the Evolution of Un-Fair, Non-Mutualistic Moral Norms.Francesco Guala - 2013 - 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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  36.  11
    Book Review. [REVIEW]Francesco Guala - 2004 - Economics and Philosophy 20 (1):217-223.
  37.  26
    Book Review: Don Ross, Economic Theory and Cognitive Science. [REVIEW]Francesco Guala - 2007 - Philosophical Papers 36 (1):163-169.
  38.  55
    Cristina Bicchieri • the Grammar of Society: The Nature and Dynamics of Social Norms.Francesco Guala - 2007 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 58 (3):613-618.
  39.  10
    Clear-Cut Designs Versus the Uniformity of Experimental Practice.Francesco Guala - 2001 - 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.  35
    Cooperation in and Out of the Lab: A Comment on Binmore’s Paper. [REVIEW]Francesco Guala - 2010 - 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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  41.  1
    Economics and the Laboratory: Some Philosophical and Methodological Problems Facing Experimental Economics.Francesco Guala - 1999 - Dissertation, London School of Economics and Political Science
    Laboratory experimentation was once considered impossible or irrelevant in economics. Recently, however, economic science has gone through a real ‘laboratory revolution’, and experimental economics is now a most lively subfield of the discipline. The methodological advantages and disadvantages of controlled experimentation constitute the main subject of this thesis. After a survey of the literature on experiments in philosophy and economics, the problem of testing normative theories of rationality is tackled. This philosophical issue was at the centre of a famous controversy (...)
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  42.  7
    Emphasising Extrapolation.Francesco Guala - 2009 - Metascience 18 (2):331-333.
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  43. Economic Experiments as Mediators.Francesco Guala & London School of Economics and Political Science - 1998 - Lse Centre for Philosophy of Natural & Social Science.
  44. Esperimenti paradigmatici: il gioco dell 'Ultimatum'.Francesco Guala - 2009 - Humana. Mente 2009 (10):1-10.
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  45. Esperimenti paradigmatici: il gioco dell'ultimatum.Francesco Guala - 2009 - Humana Mente 3 (10).
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  46.  52
    Fact and Fiction in Economics: Models, Realism and Social Construction, Edited by Uskali MÄKI. Cambridge University Press, 2002, VII + 384 Pages. [REVIEW]Francesco Guala - 2004 - Economics and Philosophy 20 (1):217-223.
  47.  14
    Giuseppe Giordano. Tra paradigmi e rivoluzioni: Thomas Kuhn. 206 pp., index. Soveria Mannelli: Rubbettino, 1997. L 20,000. [REVIEW]Francesco Guala - 2002 - Isis 93 (2):358-359.
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  48.  1
    Grammar of Society: The Nature and Dynamics of Social Norms/Cristina Bicchieri.-New York: Cambridge University Press, 2006.Francesco Guala - 2007 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 58 (3):613-618.
  49.  34
    Models as Mediators. Perspectives on Natural and Social Science, Mary S. Morgan and Margaret Morrison (Eds.). Cambridge University Press, 1999, XI + 401 Pages. [REVIEW]Francesco Guala & Stathis Psillos - 2001 - Economics and Philosophy 17 (2):275-294.
  50.  4
    On Letting Serious Crises Go to Waste.Francesco Guala - 2021 - Journal of Economic Methodology 28 (1):40-45.
    Although the philosophy of economics has thrived during periods of crisis, it is by no means clear that it will continue to do so. Have philosophers of economics wasted important opportunities duri...
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