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Seminario di Dipartimento (SeRiC): Are there ethical limits of economics?

28/03/2017 dalle 13:00 alle 15:00

Dove Aula Mondolfo, via Zamboni 38

Partecipanti Gereon Wolters - University of Konstanz

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I give, first, conceptual clarifications relevant for our argumentation: facts versus norms/values, ethical pluralism versus ethical relativism, moral norms versus juridical norms. It is shown that ethical norms are justified using the principle of universalization: ethical arguments may use only principles to which supposedly everybody could give assent. I, second, deal with ethical limits to the freedom of science imposed from outside, i.e. legislation (e.g. restrictions on experiments on animals or humans), or, third, imposed from inside, i.e. science itself (e.g. research moratoria, measures to prevent corruption). I then, fourth, turn to economics, showing that the leading neoclassical economic theory is among the causes for the enduring financial and economic crisis. I defend three theses: (1) Neoclassical economics has unethically sold itself as safely explaining and predicting as physics. (2) The models of neoclassical economy are based on value-laden ideological beliefs about free markets and economical agents that are sold as value-free science. (3) Neoclassical experimentation that involves whole countries and societies (like the completely failed “Chile experiment”) is immoral.