Does Adam Smith's 'impartial spectator' provide a sufficient basis for cosmopolitian ethics?

One of the benefits I have obtained from reading Nicholas Phillipson’s excellent book, ‘Adam Smith, an Enlightened Life’ is a better understanding of what Smith was trying to achieve in writing ‘The Theory of Moral Sentiments’ (TMS). He apparently saw the book as a contribution to a ‘science of man’ based on the observation . . . → Read More: Does Adam Smith’s ‘Impartial Spectator’ Provide a Sufficient Basis for Cosmopolitian Ethics?

Was the Industrial Revolution caused by Bourgeois Dignity or Institutional Change?

Most of Deidre McCloskey’s important new book serves to establish that if we want to explain the industrial revolution we need to explain why so much innovation occurred in England from the late 18th century and through the 19th century. She suggests that we should dismiss attempts to explain the industrial revolution in terms . . . → Read More: Was the Industrial Revolution caused by Bourgeois Dignity or Institutional Change?

Can Identity Economics Help Us to Understand Teenage Drug Use?

This post continues the discussion in some previous posts about understanding teenage drug use. In the first post Ruth, a nurse who has worked in psych wards and prisons, illustrated the nature of the problem by telling the sad story of a man who has been suffering from drug induced psychosis (DIP) over a . . . → Read More: Can Identity Economics Help Us to Understand Teenage Drug Use?

Is Free Choice an Illusion?

I am sometimes asked questions like: What is so wonderful about the free market? My answer is that the free market is about choice. You choose what you want to buy. The choices you make send signals through the market to huge numbers of people involved in retailing, manufacturing and production of raw materials. . . . → Read More: Is Free Choice an Illusion?

Does Identity Economics Predict Happiness in Different Societies?

I get the impression from the methodology chapter of their recent book, ‘Identity Economics’, that George Akerlof and Rachel Kranton are not particularly interested in econometric tests of the predictive power of their theory. They suggest that it is difficult to falsify any theory because ‘even the most straight forward test has literally millions . . . → Read More: Does Identity Economics Predict Happiness in Different Societies?