Erasmus Journal for Philosophy and Economics <p>The Erasmus Journal for Philosophy and Economics (EJPE) is a peer-reviewed bi-annual academic journal located at <a href="">Erasmus University Rotterdam</a>. EJPE publishes research on the methodology, history, ethics, and interdisciplinary relations of economics.</p> Stichting Erasmus Journal for Philosophy and Economics en-US Erasmus Journal for Philosophy and Economics 1876-9098 The Persistence of the Leveling Down Objection <p>According to the Leveling Down Objection, some, if not all, egalitarians must concede that leveling down can make things better in a respect—in terms of equality. I argue, first, that if this is true, then it is hard for such egalitarians to avoid the even more disturbing result that leveling down can be better all-things-considered. I then consider and reject two attempts to take this particular sting out of being an egalitarian. The first is Tom Christiano’s argument that the egalitarian is not forced to concede that the leveled down state is better with respect to equality, on the grounds that if equality with respect to any X matters, e.g. welfare, then value must be assigned to X, rendering the leveled down state inferior even with respect to equality. This is insufficient, I argue, to justify his requirement that Pareto-inferior states cannot be better with respect to equality. The second, offered by both Ingmar Persson and Campbell Brown, is to argue that prioritarianism—a central rival to egalitarianism—is also subject to the Leveling Down Objection. Persson and Campbell fail, I claim, because their arguments turn on increases in measures in leveled down states that have no value on the prioritarian view.</p> Michael Weber Copyright (c) 2019 Michael Weber 2019-07-24 2019-07-24 12 1 1 25 10.23941/ejpe.v12i1.345 Reason and Political Economy in Hume <p>This paper examines some connections between Hume’s epistemology in his <em>Treatise of Human Nature </em>and his political economy. I make three claims: (1) First, I argue that it is the development of Hume’s account of the faculty of reason in Book I of the <em>Treatise</em> that leads him to emphasize social science—including political economy—and the humanities over more abstract modes of intellectual inquiry. (2) Second, I argue that Hume’s conception of reason has implications for his methodology in political economy. His perception of human reason leads him to deploy a method of qualified generalization that emphasizes the by-and-large nature of theoretical statements. (3) Third, when it comes to policy matters, the method of qualified generalization in theory cashes out in terms of practical maxims. I suggest that two central maxims in Hume’s political economy derive from his views of the usefulness of economic liberty and the coordinating nature of the status quo.</p> Erik W. Matson Copyright (c) 2019 Erik William Matson 2019-07-24 2019-07-24 12 1 26 51 10.23941/ejpe.v12i1.333 On the Practical Impossibility of Being Both Well-Informed and Impartial <p>Adam Smith argued that the ideal moral judge is both well-informed and impartial. As non-ideal moral agents, we tend only to be truly well-informed about those with whom we frequently interact. These are also those with whom we tend to have the closest affective bonds. Hence, those who are well-informed, like our friends, tend to make for partial judges, while those who are impartial, like strangers, tend to make for ill-informed ones. Combining these two traits in one person seems far from straightforward. Still, if becoming well-informed is, as Smith also claims, a matter of imaginative perspective-taking with the “person principally concerned” (TMS, I.i.1.4, 13), it might be possible to become well-informed without the emotional entanglement that comes from any actual proximity to those we judge. Against this intuition, I use Construal Level Theory to show that the tension between being well-informed and impartial is likely to persist even if we take any actual proximity out of the equation. I end by discussing some implications of this, and suggest that we should consider revising the ideal to accommodate them.</p> Sveinung S. Sivertsen Copyright (c) 2019 Sveinung Sundfør Sivertsen 2019-07-24 2019-07-24 12 1 52 72 10.23941/ejpe.v12i1.377 (History of) Economic Knowledge Freed from Determinism <p>The Erasmus Journal for Philosophy and Economics (EJPE) interviewed Vogl about his intellectual career, his relationship to the history and philosophy of economics, and his perspective on the analysis of contemporary capitalism.</p> Joseph Vogl Copyright (c) 2019 Joseph Vogl 2019-07-24 2019-07-24 12 1 73 92 10.23941/ejpe.v12i1.409 Reflections on the 2018 Nobel Memorial Prize Awarded to William Nordhaus J. Paul Kelleher Copyright (c) 2019 J. Paul Kellerher 2019-07-24 2019-07-24 12 1 93 107 10.23941/ejpe.v12i1.415 Review of Peter J. Boettke’s F. A. Hayek: Economics, Political Economy and Social Philosophy. London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2018, 323 pp. Lachezar Grudev Copyright (c) 2019 Lachezar Grudev 2019-07-24 2019-07-24 12 1 108 113 10.23941/ejpe.v12i1.410 Review of Tyler Cowen’s Stubborn Attachments. San Francisco: Stripe Press, 2018, 158 pp. Joseph Heath Copyright (c) 2019 Joseph Heath 2019-07-24 2019-07-24 12 1 114 124 10.23941/ejpe.v12i1.411 Review of Kate Raworth’s Doughnut Economics. London: Random House, 2017, 373 pp. Erik Schokkaert Copyright (c) 2019 Erik Schokkaert 2019-07-24 2019-07-24 12 1 125 132 10.23941/ejpe.v12i1.412 Understanding with Models Philippe Verreault-Julien Copyright (c) 2019 Philippe Verreault-Julien 2019-07-24 2019-07-24 12 1 133 136 10.23941/ejpe.v12i1.413 Agency & Choice James Grayot Copyright (c) 2019 James Grayot 2019-07-24 2019-07-24 12 1 137 144 10.23941/ejpe.v12i1.414 U.S. Economics and the Quest for Scientific Authority (1932–1957) <p>This thesis studies the way in which economists have sought to establish the scientific authority of their discipline during the period before and after World War II in the United States. The research shows how the quest for scientific authority by economists gave rise to new concepts and notions, instruments of control, and calculation methods. Such developments contributed material and symbolic advantages to the discipline in the academic world and the broader academic sphere. By establishing itself as a type of knowledge which is at once abstract, technical and empirical, economics consolidated as a discipline capable of producing universal knowledge, of articulating the academic world and the practical sphere, and of establishing its qualifications as an applied domain for policy-making. The analysis focuses on three of the institutions at the pinnacle of the discipline in the American academic world: the Cowles Commission, the Economics department of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the Economics department of the University of Chicago. By studying the standardization of the PhD program in economics, this research also studies the process of reaching a consensus within the discipline as related to the quest for the special status of 'science'. Rooted in the social history of science, this study contributes to the analysis of standards which influence today’s research, teaching, and professional activity of economists.</p> Camila Orozco Espinel Copyright (c) 2019 Camila Orozco Espinel 2019-07-24 2019-07-24 12 1 145 149 10.23941/ejpe.v12i1.392