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Research Forum / P&E Joint Talk – Uskali Mäki (University of Helsinki): “Evidently Bad? Economics Imperialism and Norms of Inquiry”

November 27, 2018, 18:15–19:45
S 62 (RW I)

Conquest, dominance, claims of superiority, imperialism, unification of one domain in terms of another — can any of this be good? Economic concepts, models and methods have increasingly been applied to domains of phenomena traditionally not studied by economics, such as family and politics, crime and law, religion and science, etc. This is often considered interdisciplinary imperialism and evidently bad. Given that the concept of (real-world) imperialism is loaded with strong normative connnotations, this has confusing consequences for its metaphoric use in characterising interdisciplinary relations. The issue is not made any simpler by the multiplicity of normative perspectives, from those of global norms of all scientific inquiry to more local discipline-specific norms. Nor by the involvement of strong disciplinary emotions.

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