Advanced Paper Synopsis

Philosophy and Methodology of Economics

(Dr George Bitsakakis, Department of Economics)


Aims and Objectives: This course aims to both encourage critical philosophical reflection on economics and its fundamental concepts and to explore ways of drawing together economic and philosophical tools in the explanation and evaluation of society.

Content: We will study topics in three main areas of the philosophy of economics.

Methodology and Epistemology of Economics

Topics include the nature of explanation in economics, Mill's deductive a priori method, the logical and epistemological status of the fundamental postulates of contemporary economics, the nature of economic models, causation and econometric- modeling, reductionism and methodological individualism and the possibility of value-free economic theory.

The Analysis of Fundamental Economic Concepts

We will concentrate on the full and bounded rationality postulates of economics, looking at the debates over Homo OEconomicus, the development of a preference-based utility theory, and the `paradoxes' of full rationality in both Decision Theory and Game Theory.  We shall explore also the possibility and promise that Experimental Economics offer.

Political Economy & Theory of Justice

We will start with a short, critical evaluation of traditional views of social justice and then concentrate on some current theories of justice. In studying these theories, our focus will be on the role of rationality in justice, the tension between the individual and society and the nature of equality.

Bibliography      Sample examination paper