The Oeconomy of Nature: an Interview with Margaret Schabas

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MARGARET LYNN SCHABAS (Toronto, 1954) is professor of philosophy at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver and served as the head of the Philosophy Department from 2004-2009. She has held professoriate positions at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and at York University, and has also taught as a visiting professor at Michigan State University, University of Colorado-Boulder, Harvard, CalTech, the Sorbonne, and the École Normale de Cachan. As the recipient of several fellowships, she has enjoyed visiting terms at Stanford, Duke, MIT, Cambridge, the LSE, and the MPI-Berlin. In addition to her doctorate in the history and philosophy of science and technology (Toronto 1983), she holds a bachelor of science in music (oboe) and the philosophy of science (Indiana 1976), a master’s degree in the history and philosophy of science (Indiana 1977), and a master’s degree in economics (Michigan1985). She has published four books and over forty articles or book chapters in science studies. Some of the journals in which her articles can be found are Isis, Monist, History of Political Economy, Public Affairs Quarterly, Daedaelus, Journal of Economic Perspectives, and Studies in the History and Philosophy of Science. Her first book, A world ruled by number (1990) examines the emergence of mathematical economics in the second half of the nineteenth century. Her second book, The natural origins of economics (2005), traces the transformation of economics from a natural to a social science. She also has two co-edited collections, Oeconomies in the age of Newton (2003), with Neil De Marchi, and David Hume’s political economy (2008), with Carl Wennerlind. She is currently writing a monograph on Hume’s economics, as well as articles on the history and philosophy of bioeconomics. She is currently president of the History of Economics Society. EJPE interviewed Margaret Schabas at the University of British Columbia in March 2013. In this interview, she recounts her earliest foray into the history and philosophy of economics, the conceptual trade between economics and natural science, and her most recent undertaking: the history and philosophy of bioeconomics.
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