Madison, Wisconsin, United States of America
  • Social Scientific Naturalism Revisited
    In Peter Róna & László Zsolnai (eds.), Economic Objects and the Objects of Economics, Springer Verlag. pp. 71-83. 2018.
    The paper reconsiders social scientific naturalism, the view that despite obvious differences in their subject matter, the social sciences belong to the same species of cognitive inquiry as the natural sciences. Among other limits, the paper explores social scientific naturalism only with respect to economics. The social sciences are not homogeneous, and although many of the things I shall say apply to psychology, political science, sociology, and anthropology as well as to economics, I do not h…Read more
  •  5
    This is a brief response to ‘Do not despair about severity—yet’ by Barra et al. It argues that they have no serious criticisms of Daniel Hausman’s essay, ‘The Significance of Severity’” and that indeed their work lends further support to his view that there is no justification for prioritising severity. As policy-akers, Barra and his coauthors are more constrained by popular attitudes, which apparently favour prioritising severity.
  •  55
    Essays on Philosophy and Economic Methodology
    Cambridge University Press. 1992.
    This collection brings together the essays of one of the foremost American philosophers of economics. Cumulatively they offer fresh perspectives on foundational questions such as: what sort of science is economics? and how successful can economists be in acquiring knowledge of their subject matter?
  •  45
    Consequentialism and Preference Formation in Economics and Game Theory
    Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 59 111-130. 2006.
    When students first study expected utility, they are inclined to interpret it as a theory that explains preferences for lotteries in terms of preferences for outcomes. Knowing U and U, the agent can calculate that the utility of a gamble of $100 on a fair coin coming up heads is U/2 + U/2. Utilities are indices representing preferences, so in calculating the utility of the gamble, one is apparently giving a causal explanation for the agent’s preference for the gamble.
  •  8
    What Is Cancer?
    Perspectives in Biology and Medicine 62 (4): 778-784. 2019.
    Cancer is a puzzling and frightening disease or set of diseases. Cancers have afflicted multicellular living beings for more than 200 million years, and there is evidence of cancers among ancestors of modern humans going back well over a million years. Unlike infectious diseases, parasites, and many environmental diseases, cancer is not primarily caused by some entity that is foreign to our bodies. Its agents of destruction are human cells that have, as it were, slipped their reins, and have bee…Read more
  •  1268
    A Lockean argument for universal access to health care
    Social Philosophy and Policy 28 (2): 166-191. 2011.
    This essay defends the controversial and indeed counterintuitive claim that there is a good argument to be made from a Lockean perspective for government action to guarantee access to health care. The essay maintains that this argument is in some regards more robust than the well-known argument in defense of universal health care spelled out by Norman Daniels, which this essay also examines in some detail. Locke's view that government should protect people's lives, property, and freedom–where fr…Read more
  •  8
    The significance of ‘severity’
    Journal of Medical Ethics 45 (8): 545-551. 2019.
    This essay considers whether permitting the cost-effectiveness of healthcare to govern its allocation is ethically objectionable on the grounds that it fails to give sufficient weight to the severity of people’s health states. After documenting the popular sentiment that appears to support this criticism, the essay considers how to implement prioritising severity, focusing on Erik Nord’s work. The remainder of the essay scrutinises the ethical arguments supporting policies prioritising severity …Read more
  •  23
    Philosophy of Economics: A Retrospective Reflection
    Revue de Philosophie Économique 18 (2): 185. 2017.
  •  53
    Behavioural economics and paternalism
    Economics and Philosophy 34 (1): 53-66. 2018.
  •  22
    Responses to My Critics
    with Herbert A. Simon and Hilldale
    Public Health Ethics 10 (2): 164-175. 2017.
    This essay responds to the helpful criticisms of Valuing Health: Well-Being, Freedom, and Suffering, which have been offered by Elselijn Kingma, Adam Oliver, Anna Alexandrova, Alex Voorhoeve, Erik Nord and James Wilson. I am extremely grateful to Jonathan Wolf and especially James Wilson for arranging a one-day conference on my book, Valuing Health: Well-Being, Freedom, and Suffering [Hausman, D.. Valuing Health: Well-Being, Freedom, and Suffering. Oxford: Oxford University Press.], and for publ…Read more
  •  128
    Mistakes about Preferences in the Social Sciences
    Philosophy of the Social Sciences 41 (1): 3-25. 2011.
    Preferences are the central notion in mainstream economic theory, yet economists say little about what preferences are. This article argues that preferences in mainstream positive economics are comparative evaluations with respect to everything relevant to value or choice, and it argues against three mistaken views of preferences: that they are matters of taste, concerning which rational assessment is inappropriate, that preferences coincide with judgments of expected self-interested benefit, an…Read more
  •  5
    Confirming Mainstream Economic Theory
    Theoria: Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia 13 (2): 261-278. 1998.
    This essay is concerned with the special difficulties that arise in testing and appraising mainstream economic theory. I argue that, like other theories designed to apply to complex open systems, it is very hard to confirm mainsteam economics. Parts can be tested and appraised, but the theory is only very weakly supported by evidence.
  •  10
  • Economic Models: A Philosophical Inquiry Into Capital Theory
    Dissertation, Columbia University. 1978.
    Chapter 5 is an essay on the methodology of equilibrium theory. In the course of examining recent controversies concerning lawlike claims and "assumptions" in economic theory, I reach a position similar to J. S. Mill's. Neo-classical economics is what Mill would call "a separate science." It follows a deductive method, since its basic laws supported by everyday experience. In its general equilibrium formulation, equilibrium theory possesses, however, no explanatory worth and very little explanat…Read more
  • Third-Party Risks in Research: Should IRBs Address Them?
    IRB: Ethics & Human Research 29 (3). 2007.
    The risks to groups posed by research involving human beings—including genetics research—should be conceived of as a species of third-party risks. The important task of protecting third parties from the risks posed by the conduct and the findings of research should not be assigned to IRBs because they are not designed or equipped to handle such a broad responsibility. The serious problems raised by third-party risks require an integration of policy-making and regulation that is beyond the scope …Read more
  •  91
    Motives and Markets in Health Care
    Journal of Practical Ethics 1 (2): 64-84. 2013.
    The truth about health care policy lies between two exaggerated views: a market view in which individuals purchase their own health care from profit maximizing health-care firms and a control view in which costs are controlled by regulations limiting which treatments health insurance will pay for. This essay suggests a way to avoid on the one hand the suffering, unfairness, and abandonment of solidarity entailed by the market view and, on the other hand, to diminish the inflexibility and ineffic…Read more
  • Philosophy of economics “, Internet”
    Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. forthcoming.
  •  11
    Experimenting on Models and in the World (review)
    Journal of Economic Methodology 15 (2): 209-216. 2008.
  •  19
    Racionalidad, bienestar y economía normativa
    Revista Internacional de Filosofía Política 12 45-55. 1998.
  •  48
    Constructive empiricism contested
    Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 63 (1): 21-28. 1982.
    Constructive empiricism, Bas van fraassen's new variety of anti-Realism, Maintains that science aims at empirically adequate, Rather than true theories and that, In fully accepting a theory, One should believe only that it is empirically adequate. A theory is empirically adequate just in case it has a model in which all observable phenomena may be embedded. I challenge van fraassen's main arguments and argue that the observable/unobservable distinction will not bear the weight that van fraassen …Read more
  •  7
    Why Look Under the Hood?
    In Essays in Philosophy and Economic Methodology, Cambridge University Press. pp. 70-73. 1992.