Facts, Values and Objectivity in Economics
Edited by José Castro Caldas, Vítor Neves
Published March 16th 2012 by Routledge – 188 pages
Is Economics an ‘objective’ or ‘positive’ science, independent of ethical and political positions? The financial crisis that began in 2007 gave rise to renewed doubts regarding the ‘objectivity’ of economics and brought into the public arena a debate that was previously confined to academia. A remarkable feature of the public debate on the value neutrality of economics since then was that it not only involved indictments of ideological biases in economic theory, but also the attribution of the crisis itself to the unethical orientation of economic agents, of economists acting as experts and of ‘economic science’ itself. The contributors to this volume believe that economists of all persuasions are once again compelled to probe the normative foundations of their discipline and give a public account of their doubts and conclusions.
1. Introduction: The Issues at Stake José Castro Caldas and Vítor Neves 2. Economics and Moral Sentiments: The Case of Moral Hazard Sheila Dow 3. The Conflicting Languages of Economics and Human Rights Manuel Couret Branco 4. The Meaning of Objectivity: What Can We Learn from Robbins and Myrdal? José Castro Caldas and Vítor Neves 5. Values, Objectivity and Moral Realism Nuno Ornelas Martins 6. The Facts and Values of Experimental Economics Ana C. Santos 7. The Contribution of the Sociology of Quantification to a Discussion of Objectivity in Economics Laura Centemeri 8. Embodied Expectations: The Somatic Subject and the Changing Political Economy of Life and Health João Arriscado Nunes 9. Deep Contextualism and Radical Criticism: The Argument for a Division of Labour in a Contemporary Political Theory Mathias Thaler 10. Practical Reasoning in Economic Affairs: The Human Development Index as a Case Study Ricardo Crespo
José Castro Caldas is a researcher at the Centre for Social Studies, Coimbra University, Portugal (CES). He was previously assistant professor at the Economics Department of ISCTE, Lisbon and researcher at DINÂMIA.
Vítor Neves is Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Economics, Coimbra University, Portugal, and Senior Researcher at the Centre for Social Studies (CES). He is also member of the Stirling Centre for Economic Methodology (UK).