International Seminar – Philosophy of Economy by prof. K. Stikkers

19 Oct, 2015; General

Department of Philosophy of Culture (IF UW) and the organizers of the “International Seminar” invites for a series of seminars on the philosophy of economics with special reference to its ethical and anthropological dimensions. The seminars will be led by

Prof. Kenneth Stikkers

(Southern Illinois University Carbondale).

Seminar 1: What Is Philosophy of Economics? The Current Economic Crisis as Moral Crisis 
(22nd of October)
This seminar, first, will outline what is entailed in a philosophy of economics, that is, the critical examination of the metaphysical, anthropological, epistemological, and ethical assumptions underlying economic theory.  It will then propose that current global economic crises are manifestations of fundamental flaws in orthodox economics, such that notions of economic growth, development, and well-being are increasingly divorced from human growth, deveopment, and well-being.  Thus, pronouncements by professional economists and policy-makers following them are increasingly detached from economic life as it is actually experienced by citizens, and economists and policy-makers are losing credibility.

  • Kenneth Stikkers, “What Is Philosophy of Economics?–Questioning the Foundations of Economic Orthodoxy,” from “Utopian Visions”
  • Amartya Sen and Joseph Stiglitz, “Executive Summary” to “Mismeasuring Our Lives”
  • Kenneth Stikkers, “Economics and the Crisis of Western Science”

Seminar 2: How Did Economic Science Separate from Moral Philosophy? – Diagnosing the Crisis
(29th of October)
This seminar aims to diagnose the historical roots of the current crisis by examining, first, how economic forces in the West broke free from traditional moral constraints and, second, how economic science correspondingly divorced itself from ethics.

  • Hilary Putnam, “Fact and Value in the World of Amartya Sen,” from “The Collapse of the Fact/Value Dichotomy”
  • Kenneth Stikkers, “The Great Matricide:  How Economic Science Murdered Moral Philosophy”

Seminar 3: Rethinking Economics as Moral Philosophy – Overcoming the Crisis
(3rd of December)
This seminar aims to open discussion regarding how economics mights be reconceived as a domain of ethics and thereby reroot its notions of growth, development, and well-being in human growth, development, and well-being.  Along with Sen, Stikkers will propose that Aristotle’s understanding of the connection between oikonomia and eudaimonia has much to offer us today, and along with economic anthropologists such as Marcel Mauss, Karl Polanyi, and Marshall Sahlins, Stikkers will suggest that we also can learn much from archaic economies rooted in sensibilities of gift and thanksgiving.

  • Amartya Sen, “The Ends and Means of Development,” from “Development as Freedom”
  • Kenneth Stikkers, “What’s an Economy Good for?–On the Relevance of Aristotle for 21st Century Econmics”
  • Kenneth Stikkers, “Economies of Scarcity and Acquisition, Economies of Gift and Thanksgiving:  Lessons from Cultural Anthropology,” from “Value and Values:  Economics and Justice in an Age of Global Interdependence”, ed. Roger T. Ames and Peter D. Hershock

All meetings will take place in the Institute of Sociology, Karowa 18 St., room 403
Time: 4:30 – 8:00 pm
Contact: dr Przemysław Bursztyka (
dr Filip Kawczyński (

The seminar meetings are part of the “International Seminar” dedicated to students of the Institute of Philosophy but all interested (not only students) are welcome!

All readings are available here:


Seminar 1
Seminar 1
Seminar 1a
Seminar 2
Seminar 2
Seminar 3
Seminar 3
Seminar 3a