Volume VIII Issue 2

Spring 2015

1. Collective beliefs and horizontal interactions between groups: the case of political parties

Olivier Ouzilou.
Groups matter in our ordinary folk psychology because a part of our social interactions is done with collective entities. In our everyday life, we indeed sometimes ascribe mental states to social groups as a whole or to individuals as members of groups in order to understand and predict their behavior. The aim of this paper is to explore this aspect of social interactions by focusing on the concept of ‘collective belief’ in a non-summative sense and, more precisely, on collective belief of a specific kind of group: the political party. How can the concept of ‘collective belief’ help to understand the interactions which involve these kinds of collective entities? After providing an epistemic description of political parties, this paper focuses on the collective belief in a non-summative sense. As Gilbert says, a group believes that p, if its members are jointly committed to believe that p as a body. It is argued, with the help of an example from the political history of France, that this view can enable us to understand the interaction between political parties. More precisely, it can help clarify the way in which a political party uses the rational constraints on the party as a whole and/or the social and epistemic constraints on the behavior of the group's members in order to destabilize or weaken other political parties.
Section: Articles

2. Work, recognition and subjectivization: some remarks about the modernity of Kojève's interpretation of Hegel

Richard Sobel.
From the analytical point of view of Hegel's philosophical anthropology, in Kojève's interpretation, work is an existential structure through which the dual process of subjectification and socialization unfolds. For Hegel, however, this process is not taken for granted: its possibility is understood in terms of the culmination of man's conquest of humanity, taking as a point of departure the relation of mastery to servitude and the undertaking to transform this relation precisely from within the perspective of servitude. The goal of this article is to reconstruct the conceptual framework of this philosophical moment, to our mind an indispensible precondition for the apperception of our modern societies' functioning at the most fundamental level, to the extent that they consider themselves to be ‘work based societies.’
Section: Articles

3. Expiration of private property rights: a note

Walter Block.
According to libertarian law, upon what occasions may a person's private property rights in goods, commodities, in himself, be alienated from him? The present paper is an attempt to wrestle with this question. We consider abandonment, punishment, salvage, misplacement, liberation of property.
Section: Articles

4. ‘Ups’ and ‘downs’ in metaphor use: the case of increase / decrease metaphors in Spanish economic discourse

Anca Pecican.
The purpose of the present article is to analyze the use of evaluative metaphors in two economic discourse genres displaying different degrees of specialization: business media and the central bank report. The article points out the differences in terms of metaphor use between the two types of discourses ranging from lexical choices to the way evaluation is assumed. Metaphor use is also a result of specific textual goals. The research is intended to provide a detailed insight into matters related to hidden subjective content present in metaphors. The extended use of the lexical items in focus both in the media as well as in specialized discourse tends to generate readers’ over familiarization with them and consequently the possibility of value neutralization. That is why people are usually not aware of the opinion forming effects metaphors have in communication.
Section: Articles

5. A review of the Granger-causality fallacy

Mariusz Maziarz.
Methods used to infer causal relations from data rather than knowledge of mechanisms are most helpful and exploited only if the theoretical background is insufficient or experimentation impossible. The review of literature shows that when an investigator has no prior knowledge of the researched phenomenon, no result of the Grangercausality test has any epistemic utility due to different possible interpretations. (1) Rejecting the null in one of the tests can be interpreted as either a true causal relation, opposite direction of the true causation, instant causality, time series cointegration, not frequent enough sampling, etc. (2) Bi-directional Granger causality can be read either as instant causality or common cause fallacy. (3) Non-rejection of both nulls possibly means either indirect or nonlinear causality, or no causal relation.
Section: Articles

6. A brief history of international trade thought: from pre-doctrinal contributions to the 21st century heterodox international economics

Carmen Dorobăţ.
The present paper outlines the development of international trade thought, from the pre-doctrinal contributions of Greek philosophers and scholastic theologians, through the theories of the first schools of economic thought, and up to modern and contemporary trade theories. I follow filiations of ideas in a chronological order, and show how theoretical investigation into the causes and effects of international trade—and the rationale for government intervention—has evolved over the last two centuries.
Section: Articles

7. Review of Philip Mirowski, Never Let a Serious Crisis Go to Waste: How Neoliberalism Survived the Financial Meltdown, New York, Verso, 1st edition, 2013, ISBN: 978-1-781-68079-7, 384 pages

Şerban Brebenel.
Section: Book reviews

8. Review of Abdul Azim Islahi, History of Islamic Economic Thought: Contributions of Muslim Scholars to Economic Thought and Analysis, Edward Elgar, Cheltenham (UK), hb, 2014, ISBN 9781784711375, viii+125 pages

Valentin Cojanu.
Section: Book reviews