Economics, Law and Ethics

I've been off in the lakes reading literature; and also running badly; so not much blogging. But I've been reading, and recently found Ethics of Mathematics by Light Blue Touchpaper. This is a slightly surprising concept, which is why as he says it is the world’s first conference on ethics in mathematics. But anyway, his contribution is his slides on from his course on Economics, Law and Ethics. This comes with some at-first-sight startling assertions; for example, Economics deals with mechanisms whereby global equilibria emerge from the local behaviour of a number of selfish agents; many of my readers will be happy with his there are many reasons why market mechanisms may fail, or yield an equilibrium that is far from the social optimum; but will be surprised by his Law deals with rules developed to remedy this. But these are interesting perspectives. My own humble opinion is that he is too interested in the things he can do with his maths - prisoners dilemma and so on - and insufficiently interested in the real world. I'm not going to be distracted into writing in detail, though.


Hayek vs Hobbes and the theory of law
* The rule of law
* Retraction watch: Flawed climate science paper “exposed potential weaknesses” in the peer review process. Harde nonsense.
* Graun: Finland ends UBI trial scheme; but with no explanation.


David B Benson said...

The Ethics of Mathematics conference was about the ethics of various applications of mathematics.

Is pure mathematics aethical?

crandles said...

If God made the world such that we can discover things in pure mathematics, perhaps there was some purpose in this such that it is ethical to go and discover it?

Alternately, perhaps we should consider the state of mind in deciding to pursue pure mathematics research. If the state of mind is of awe, wonder and deference to God's purposes then it is ethical but if it is an arrogant attempt to 'know the mind of God' then it is not ethical. ?

Leaving it aethical only if you are atheist?

William Connolley said...

There are shades of the Euthyphro dilemma in there. Arguably, maths exists independently of the universe, and indeed of God, and of ethics.

EliRabett said...

Wherefore the watchword "There ought to be a law" The end result of Trump's breaking all the unwritten expectations is going to be a whole lot of laws, some of which will gum up the works even further

William Connolley said...

That's the usual temptation, and it is wrong. You can't legislate for all aspects of behaviour, it is foolish to try, and as you observe, damaging in other ways.