Philosopher Jimmy Alfonso Licon interviews me

Here is the full exchange (written only), here is one segment in the middle:

JL: I’m a philosopher, and you’re an economist. Do you think there are economic insights and tools philosophers could benefit from? What about vice versa?

TC: Philosophers are much better readers than economists are, and (some of them) are better at being self-critical and insisting on ever greater levels of depth. And they recognize the complexity of normative statements much better than economists do. Those are big advantages.

Working back toward the other direction, philosophers simply are not interested enough in basic empirical facts, in understanding statistics, or in understanding expected value theory (of course there are exceptions, especially for the latter point).

I also find that many philosophers, including many of the best ones, tend to be interested only in speaking with other philosophers. That is a sign of narrowness and provinciality, and it relates to the relative lack of interest in the empirical. You would not have found the same in David Hume, for instance, as his six-volume History of England remains a classic, as do his writings on economics and the arts.

The concluding sequence in fact refers obliquely to MR commentators, but you will have to click on the link for that.  Here is the home page of Jimmy Alfonso Licon, here is his research page.  I am very pleased that Jimmy will be a visiting Emergent Ventures fellow at GMU this coming fall.


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