Upcoming seminar: “Do Economists Make Markets? On the Performativity of Economics”

April 4, 2007

This coming Tuesday April 10th, Fabian Muniesa is coming to Columbia to give a talk. See here for a summary:

In his talk, Fabian Muniesa will present and discuss some aspects of a recent book he edited together with Donald MacKenzie and Lucia Siu: Do Economists Make Markets? On the Performativity of Economics (Princeton UP, 2007). The book puts together a number of essays on the performativity of economics, i.e. on how economic science does not limit itself at observing the economic world but does actively intervene in shaping it. The idea, formulated as a research program by Michel Callon some years ago, has generated increasing research interest, but has also triggered many critical remarks. On the one hand, the research program helps understanding contemporary markets that are indeed made out of market science. On the other hand, the idea or performativity makes harder to critizise economics in terms of “truth or falsehood”, since the prevailing criteria are likely to be “success and failure” instead. In his talk, Fabian Muniesa will defend an original interpretation of this controversy. Following the insights of Philippe Descola and Bruno Latour on the anthropology of modern scientific thought, he will consider the idea of the performativity of economics as a “breaching experiment” on the naturalism of economic thought. Are economic laws natural? Are they artificial? The topic of the performativity of economics reveal some interesting features of the “naturalness” of economic things.

The talk will be at 12.30, in room 331 Uris Hall, Columbia University.

More information about Fabian Muniesa:
http://www.csi.ensmp.fr/index.php?page=EChercheurs&lang=en&IdM=10

More information about Do Economists Make Markets? (Princeton UP, 2007):
http://press.princeton.edu/titles/8442.html

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