Philosophy of Economics
Recent economic challenges in both Dutch and European society suggest that it is more important
than ever to reflect critically about economic policy-making, the models used by economists, and the
ethical implications of economic decisions. Policy-makers and the public alike are asking tough and
fundamental questions about economics as a discipline, and the economic underpinnings of policymaking.
While such questions are sometimes debated in a wide-ranging and general way, they often connect directly to what are specific challenges also from a philosophical perspective. Philosophical issues are: the methodological and ethical aspects of discounting the future, well-being, sustainability, inequality, long-term policy making, the relation between incentives, preferences and motives, the vexed relations between case studies and general policy, and the role of economic expertise in a democracy. This area of theoretic philosophy has a lasting tradition in the Faculty and the University, codified in the internationally renowned Erasmus Institute for the Philosophy of Economics (EIPE).