Standard economic theory usually analyzes the decisions made by individuals as a rational process in which each individual has sound and consistent preferences and makes decisions according to the principle of subjective expected utility maximization. Starting from the pioneering work of Herbert Simon and the research of cognitive psychologists Kahneman and Tversky, the contributions provided by cognitive-behavioral theory have repeatedly shown that real agents make choices in a way that differs systematically from standard theory, hence highlighting its limits. Rather than (...) considering standard normative theory as false or unable to explain the data obtained by behavioral economists, several economists decided to develop new formal models that could include the results of different experiments and empirical observations that captured all dimensions of the choice made by an individual. In this sense, they proposed new models that were not intended to challenge standard theory but rather designed to provide a kind of psychological expansion to it. This article has the aim of describing and analyzing the advantages and limitations of these new models, which unfortunately are not always suited to describe the individual behavior, the individuals’ actions, or the equilibria due to the combination of the actions of several players. To overcome the limits of these models, we decided to take into consideration the unfortunately unfinished work of Michael Bacharach, who strived to understand the individual and collective forms of rationality without applying only analytical devices or a theoretical vision of the world but bringing rationality back to the perception level of the agents. (shrink)
Neuroeconomics is a science pledged to tracing the neurobiological correlates involved in decision-making, especially in the case of economic decisions. Despite representing a recent research field that is still identifying its research objects, tools and methods, its epistemological scope and scientific relevance have already been openly questioned by several authors. Among these critics, the most influential names in the debate have been those of Faruk Gul and Wolfgang Pesendorfer, who claim that the data on neural activity cannot find place in (...) economic models, which should on the contrary be solely based on the data produced by choices. This paper aims at countering the gloomy and unsubstantiated claims of these two authors and those who believe that neuroscience cannot provide new and useful insights to the established knowledge of standard economics. The main point stressed here is that this perception is the product of a general misunderstanding of the advances made by neuroscience, which are incidentally of crucial importance. (shrink)
The paper proposes a notion of fairness which overcomes the conflict arising between efficiency and the absence of envy in economies with uncertainty and asymmetrically informed agents. We do it in general economies which include, as particular cases, the main models of differential information economies, providing in this framework a natural competitive equilibrium notion which satisfies the fair criterion. The analysis is conducted allowing the presence of large traders, which may cause the lack of perfect competition.
Scholars in history and philosophy know the extraordinary difficulty of producing original research that is simultaneously creative, well-documented, and methodologically rigorous. But this is exactly what Mara van der Lugt manages in her recent book, a comprehensive treatment of Pierre Bayle's magnum opus. Reading Bayle is not for the faint of heart; he is a complex thinker with a controversial legacy. Van der Lugt exhibits appropriate caution, and though other interpreters have professed similar caution, van der Lugt's methodological commitments necessitate (...) it. Her approach imitates Bayle's own by suspending judgment on his intentions as author; attending meticulously... (shrink)
THE TWEET OF THE UNIVERSE. GRAVITATIONAL WAVES BETWEEN THEORY, EFFORTS AND MISTAKES The recent discovery of gravitational waves fills a substantial gap in the theory of general relativity, since these waves were the only phenomenon predicted by Einstein’s theory that had not yet been directly observed. This was mainly due to the fact that the passage of waves is an elusive phenomenon, almost imperceptible, up to the point that even Einstein thought that it was almost impossible to detect it using (...) “traditional” tools. This paper will explore the efforts made over the years to detect the passage of these waves, the mistakes made, and the recent results obtained through the use of the twin optical interferometers LIGO and VIRGO. This extraordinary discovery shows one more time that the history of science is full of trials, errors and sudden steps forward maybe due to the use of new technology. (shrink)
The aim of this article is to identify the main factors of the current crisis of the nation-state and to demonstrate how many of the voids left by this crisis are filled by religions. The main characteristic of the nation-state is the principle of sovereignty. The apogee of the nation-state is the political form of industrialization. National identity is possible only when the state proves to its citizens that the fact of being a member of it carries benefits and privileges (...) and will always bring more. Today, the majority of nation-states, in particular the oldest great powers, no longer have this capability. The weakening of the nation-state began at the end of the 19th century. The first wave of globalization multiplied the cases of reciprocal interferences and trespassed on the theoretical impermeability of the sovereign states. The outcome of the First World War, with the creation of the first supranational body, and much more the outcome of the Second World War, were two important steps of this crisis. The birth of the United Nations, and of other supranational bodies, as well as the creation of the first court called to judge an entire political class, were an assault on the principle of sovereignty. The second wave of globalization, characterized by the free circulation of goods, money, people and cultures, did the rest. Moreover, the countries that ‘invented’ the principle of sovereignty are today in relative decline as new powers are emerging. The nation-state is no longer able to keep its promises. The less effective states become at offering their citizens both meaning and social services, the more do religions tend to reoccupy the public stage. The less national and political legitimacy they have, the more powers use the religious tool against one another. (shrink)
From Aristotle's Poetics to contemporary aestheticians grappling with the politics and poetics of rap, intellectual traffic between philosophy and poetry has formed an appreciable undercurrent in the historical ebb and flow of cross-disciplinary bridge building. If anything, in the postwar years this undercurrent has only become more pronounced. Not to look too far, Wittgenstein himself admonished in Culture and Value that philosophy ought really to be written only as a form of poetic composition. Skeptics will, of course, take Wittgenstein with (...) a grain of salt, arguing that few statements could be more self-serving and that, like in the case of T.S. Eliot and the metaphysical school of poetry, Wittgenstein was .. (shrink)