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Philippe Mongin
Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique
  1.  43
    Les origines de la distinction entre positif et normatif en économie.Philippe Mongin - manuscript
    Abstract: Economists are accustomed to distinguishing between a positive and a normative component of their work, a distinction that is peculiar to their field, having no exact counterpart in the other social sciences. The distinction has substantially changed over time, and the different ways of understanding it today are reflective of its history. Our objective is to trace the origins and initial forms of the distinction, from the English classical political economy of the first half of the 19th century to (...)
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  2.  18
    The Present and Future of Judgement Aggregation Theory. A Law and Economics Perspective.Philippe Mongin - forthcoming - In Jean-François Laslier, Hervé Moulin, Remzi Sanver & William S. Zwicker (eds.), The Future of Economic Design. New York: Springer.
    This chapter briefly reviews the present state of judgment aggregation theory and tentatively suggests a future direction for that theory. In the review, we start by emphasizing the difference between the doctrinal paradox and the discursive dilemma, two idealized examples which classically serve to motivate the theory, and then proceed to reconstruct it as a brand of logical theory, unlike in some other interpretations, using a single impossibility theorem as a key to its technical development. In the prospective part, having (...)
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  3.  15
    Rethinking Nudge: Not One But Three Concepts.Philippe Mongin & Mikael Cozic - 2018 - Behavioural Public Policy 2:107-124.
    Nudge is a concept of policy intervention that originates in Thaler and Sunstein's (2008) popular eponymous book. Following their own hints, we distinguish three properties of nudge interventions: they redirect individual choices by only slightly altering choice conditions (here nudge 1), they use rationality failures instrumentally (here nudge 2), and they alleviate the unfavourable effects of these failures (here nudge 3). We explore each property in semantic detail and show that no entailment relation holds between them. This calls into question (...)
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  4. The Doctrinal Paradox, the Discursive Dilemma, and Logical Aggregation Theory.Philippe Mongin - 2012 - Theory and Decision 73 (3):315-355.
    Judgment aggregation theory, or rather, as we conceive of it here, logical aggregation theory generalizes social choice theory by having the aggregation rule bear on judgments of all kinds instead of merely preference judgments. It derives from Kornhauser and Sager’s doctrinal paradox and List and Pettit’s discursive dilemma, two problems that we distinguish emphatically here. The current theory has developed from the discursive dilemma, rather than the doctrinal paradox, and the final objective of the paper is to give the latter (...)
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  5. Value Judgements and Value Neutrality in Economics.Philippe Mongin - 2006 - Economica 73 (290):257-286.
    The paper analyses economic evaluations by distinguishing evaluative statements from actual value judgments. From this basis, it compares four solutions to the value neutrality problem in economics. After rebutting the strong theses about neutrality (normative economics is illegitimate) and non-neutrality (the social sciences are value-impregnated), the paper settles the case between the weak neutrality thesis (common in welfare economics) and a novel, weak non-neutrality thesis that extends the realm of normative economics more widely than the other weak thesis does.
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  6.  82
    Utility Theory and Ethics.Philippe Mongin & Claude D'Aspremont - 1998 - In Handbook of Utility Theory, 1. Kluwer: pp. 371-481.
    This book-length chapter draws technical and philosophical connections between utility theory and social ethics. After the introductory section 1, section 2 proposes some philosophical and historical clarifications on the utility concept.; this includes a discussion of welfare and welfarism. Section 3 is brief summary of technical aspects of utility theory. Section 4 introduces the aggregative setting of social choice theory when interpersonal comparisons of utility are allowed, and using this setting, contrasts the derivation of utilitarianism with that of the Rawlsian (...)
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  7. Spurious Unanimity and the Pareto Principle.Philippe Mongin - 2016 - Economics and Philosophy 32 (3):511-532.
    The Pareto principle states that if the members of society express the same preference judgment between two options, this judgment is compelling for society. A building block of normative economics and social choice theory, and often borrowed by contemporary political philosophy, the principle has rarely been subjected to philosophical criticism. The paper objects to it on the ground that it indifferently applies to those cases in which the individuals agree on both their expressed preferences and their reasons for entertaining them, (...)
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  8. A Game-Theoretic Analysis of the Waterloo Campaign and Some Comments on the Analytic Narrative Project.Philippe Mongin - forthcoming - Cliometrica 11.
    The paper has a twofold aim. On the one hand, it provides what appears to be the first game-theoretic modeling of Napoleon’s last campaign, which ended dramatically on 18 June 1815 at Waterloo. It is specifically concerned with the decision Napoleon made on 17 June 1815 to detach part of his army against the Prussians he had defeated, though not destroyed, on 16 June at Ligny. Military historians agree that this decision was crucial but disagree about whether it was rational. (...)
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  9. Expected Utility Theory.Philippe Mongin - 1998 - In John Davis, Wade Hands & Uskali Maki (eds.), Handbook of Economic Methodology. Edward Elgar. pp. 342-350.
    The paper summarizes expected utility theory, both in its original von Neumann-Morgenstern version and its later developments, and discusses the normative claims to rationality made by this theory.
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  10.  7
    Analytic Narratives: What They Are and How They Contribute to Historical Explanation.Philippe Mongin - forthcoming - In Claude Diebolt & Michael Haupert (eds.), Handbook of Cliometrics. Berlin: Springer.
    The expression "analytic narratives" is used to refer to a range of quite recent studies that lie on the boundaries between history, political science, and economics. These studies purport to explain specific historical events by combining the usual narrative approach of historians with the analytic tools that economists and political scientists draw from formal rational choice theories. Game theory, especially of the extensive form version, is currently prominent among these tools, but there is nothing inevitable about such a technical choice. (...)
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  11.  66
    Logic and the Epistemic Foundations of Game Theory: Special Issue.Michael O. L. Bacharach & Philippe Mongin - 1994 - Theory and Decision 37 (1):1-6.
    An introduction to the special issue on epistemic logic and the foundations of game theory edited by Michael Bacharach and Philippe Mongin. Contributors are Michael Bacharach, Robert Stalnaker, Salvatore Modica and Aldo Rustichini, Luc Lismont and Philippe Mongin, and Hyun-Song Shin and Timothy Williamson.
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  12.  40
    Are “All-and-Some” Statements Falsifiable After All?: The Example of Utility Theory.Philippe Mongin - 1986 - Economics and Philosophy 2 (2):185-195.
    Popper's well-known demarcation criterion has often been understood to distinguish statements of empirical science according to their logical form. Implicit in this interpretation of Popper's philosophy is the belief that when the universe of discourse of the empirical scientist is infinite, empirical universal sentences are falsifiable but not verifiable, whereas the converse holds for existential sentences. A remarkable elaboration of this belief is to be found in Watkins's early work on the statements he calls “all-and-some,” such as: “For every metal (...)
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  13.  34
    Social Preference Under Twofold Uncertainty.Philippe Mongin & Marcus Pivato - manuscript
    We investigate the conflict between the ex ante and ex post criteria of social welfare in a new framework of individual and social decisions, which distinguishes between two sources of uncertainty, here interpreted as an objective and a subjective source respectively. This framework makes it possible to endow the individuals and society not only with ex ante and ex post preferences, as is usually done, but also with interim preferences of two kinds, and correspondingly, to introduce interim forms of the (...)
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  14.  47
    Duhemian Themes in Expected Utility Theory.Philippe Mongin - 2009 - In Anastasios Brenner and Jean Gayon (ed.), French Studies in the Philosophy of Science. Springer. pp. 303-357.
    This monographic chapter explains how expected utility (EU) theory arose in von Neumann and Morgenstern, how it was called into question by Allais and others, and how it gave way to non-EU theories, at least among the specialized quarters of decion theory. I organize the narrative around the idea that the successive theoretical moves amounted to resolving Duhem-Quine underdetermination problems, so they can be assessed in terms of the philosophical recommendations made to overcome these problems. I actually follow Duhem's recommendation, (...)
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  15.  42
    Factoring Out the Impossibility of Logical Aggregation.Philippe Mongin - 2008 - Journal of Economic Theory 141:p. 100-113.
    According to a theorem recently proved in the theory of logical aggregation, any nonconstant social judgment function that satisfies independence of irrelevant alternatives (IIA) is dictatorial. We show that the strong and not very plausible IIA condition can be replaced with a minimal independence assumption plus a Pareto-like condition. This new version of the impossibility theorem likens it to Arrow’s and arguably enhances its paradoxical value.
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  16. Does Optimization Imply Rationality?Philippe Mongin - 2000 - Synthese 124 (1-2):73 - 111.
    The relations between rationality and optimization have been widely discussed in the wake of Herbert Simon's work, with the common conclusion that the rationality concept does not imply the optimization principle. The paper is partly concerned with adding evidence for this view, but its main, more challenging objective is to question the converse implication from optimization to rationality, which is accepted even by bounded rationality theorists. We discuss three topics in succession: (1) rationally defensible cyclical choices, (2) the revealed preference (...)
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  17. On the Logic of Common Belief and Common Knowledge.Luc Lismont & Philippe Mongin - 1994 - Theory and Decision 37 (1):75-106.
    The paper surveys the currently available axiomatizations of common belief (CB) and common knowledge (CK) by means of modal propositional logics. (Throughout, knowledge- whether individual or common- is defined as true belief.) Section 1 introduces the formal method of axiomatization followed by epistemic logicians, especially the syntax-semantics distinction, and the notion of a soundness and completeness theorem. Section 2 explains the syntactical concepts, while briefly discussing their motivations. Two standard semantic constructions, Kripke structures and neighbourhood structures, are introduced in Sections (...)
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  18. The Impartial Observer Theorem of Social Ethics.Philippe Mongin - 2001 - Economics and Philosophy 17 (2):147-179.
    Following a long-standing philosophical tradition, impartiality is a distinctive and determining feature of moral judgments, especially in matters of distributive justice. This broad ethical tradition was revived in welfare economics by Vickrey, and above all, Harsanyi, under the form of the so-called Impartial Observer Theorem. The paper offers an analytical reconstruction of this argument and a step-wise philosophical critique of its premisses. It eventually provides a new formal version of the theorem based on subjective probability.
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  19.  30
    Some Connections Between Epistemic Logic and the Theory of Nonadditive Probability.Philippe Mongin - 1992 - In Paul Humphreys (ed.), Patrick Suppes: Scientific Philosopher. Dordrecht: Kluwer. pp. 135-171.
    This paper is concerned with representations of belief by means of nonadditive probabilities of the Dempster-Shafer (DS) type. After surveying some foundational issues and results in the D.S. theory, including Suppes's related contributions, the paper proceeds to analyze the connection of the D.S. theory with some of the work currently pursued in epistemic logic. A preliminary investigation of the modal logic of belief functions à la Shafer is made. There it is shown that the Alchourrron-Gärdenfors-Makinson (A.G.M.) logic of belief change (...)
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  20.  28
    Bayesian Decision Theory and Stochastic Independence.Philippe Mongin - 2017 - TARK 2017.
    Stochastic independence has a complex status in probability theory. It is not part of the definition of a probability measure, but it is nonetheless an essential property for the mathematical development of this theory. Bayesian decision theorists such as Savage can be criticized for being silent about stochastic independence. From their current preference axioms, they can derive no more than the definitional properties of a probability measure. In a new framework of twofold uncertainty, we introduce preference axioms that entail not (...)
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  21. A Concept of Progress for Normative Economics.Philippe Mongin - 2006 - Economics and Philosophy 22 (1):19-54.
    The paper discusses the sense in which the changes undergone by normative economics in the twentieth century can be said to be progressive. A simple criterion is proposed to decide whether a sequence of normative theories is progressive. This criterion is put to use on the historical transition from the new welfare economics to social choice theory. The paper reconstructs this classic case, and eventually concludes that the latter theory was progressive compared with the former. It also briefly comments on (...)
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  22.  20
    Sur le problème ricardien d'un "étalon invariable des valeurs".Philippe Mongin - 1979 - Revue d'Economie Politique 89:494-508.
    This French article aims at analyzing the Ricardian problem of an "invariable standard of value" in Ricardo's own terms. It is argued that Ricardo's commentators and modern followers have changed these terms significantly. The problem actually branches into two subproblems, i.e., that of "invariability" strictly, and that of "neutrality with respect to distribution". These subproblems do not matter to Ricardo to the same extent. He regards the latter (in various formulations recapitulated here) as a complication of the former, which is (...)
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  23.  7
    Le libéralisme, l’utilitarisme et l’économie politique classique dans l’interprétation d’Élie Halévy.Philippe Mongin - 1990 - la Revue du M.A.U.S.S 10:135-169.
    Élie HALÉVY (1870-1937), philosophe et historien des idées, fut professeur à l'École libre des sciences politiques, l'ancêtre de l'actuel Sciences Po. Comme son autre grand ouvrage, l'Histoire du peuple anglais au XIXe siècle, paru en six tomes de 1913 à 1932, les trois tomes de La formation du radicalisme philosophique, parus en 1901 pour les deux premiers et en 1904 pour le troisième, reflètent pour partie ses enseignements de l'Ecole libre consacrés à l'histoire britannique. Le premier tome, La jeunesse de (...)
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  24. Ranking Multidimensional Alternatives and Uncertain Prospects.Philippe Mongin - 2015 - Journal of Economic Theory 157:146-171.
    We introduce a ranking of multidimensional alternatives, including uncertain prospects as a particular case, when these objects can be given a matrix form. This ranking is separable in terms of rows and columns, and continuous and monotonic in the basic quantities. Owing to the theory of additive separability developed here, we derive very precise numerical representations over a large class of domains (i.e., typically notof the Cartesian product form). We apply these representationsto (1)streams of commodity baskets through time, (2)uncertain social (...)
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  25.  84
    Choice-Based Cardinal Utility. A Tribute to Patrick Suppes.Philippe Mongin - 2016 - Journal of Economic Methodology 23 (3):268-288.
    We reexamine some of the classic problems connected with the use of cardinal utility functions in decision theory, and discuss Patrick Suppes's contributions to this field in light of a reinterpretation we propose for these problems. We analytically decompose the doctrine of ordinalism, which only accepts ordinal utility functions, and dis- tinguish between several doctrines of cardinalism, depending on what components of ordinalism they specifically reject. We identify Suppes's doctrine with the major deviation from ordinalism that conceives of utility functions (...)
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  26.  27
    Milton Friedman: Economics in Theory and Practice, by Abraham Hirsch and Neil de Marchi, University of Michigan Press, 1990, VIII+325 Pages. [REVIEW]Philippe Mongin - 1992 - Economics and Philosophy 8 (1):183-191.
    A review of A. Hisch and N. de Marchi's thorough historical study on Milton Friedman's life-long work as an economist (and more specifically as a monetary economist) and as an economic methodologist (in his famous essay "The Methodology of Positive Economics".
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  27.  43
    Does Optimization Imply Rationality?Philippe Mongin - 2000 - Synthese 124 (1):73-111.
    ABSTRACT. The relations between rationality and optimization have been widely discussed in the wake of Herbert Simon’s work, with the common conclusion that the rationality concept does not imply the optimization principle. The paper is partly concerned with adding evidence for this view, but its main, more challenging objective is to question the converse implication from optimization to rationality, which is accepted even by bounded rationality theorists. We discuss three topics in succession: (1) rationally defensible cyclical choices, (2) the revealed (...)
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  28.  15
    Modèle rationnel ou modèle économique de la rationalité?Philippe Mongin - 1984 - Revue Economique 35 (1):9-63.
    This article critically discusses the concept of economic rationality, arguing that it is too narrow and specific to encompass the full concept of practical rationality. Economic rationality is identified here with the use of the optimizing model of decision, as well as of expected utility apparatus to deal with uncertainty. To argue that practical rationality is broader than economic rationality, the article claims that practical rationality includes bounded rationality as a particular case, and that bounded rationality cannot be reduced to (...)
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  29.  52
    Le réalisme des hypothèses et la Partial Interpretation View.Philippe Mongin - 1988 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 18 (3):281-325.
    The article discusses Friedman's classic claim that economics can be based on irrealistic assumptions. It exploits Samuelson's distinction between two "F-twists" (that is, "it is an advantage for an economic theory to use irrealistic assumptions" vs "the more irrealistic the assumptions, the better the economic theory"), as well as Nagel's distinction between three philosophy-of-science construals of the basic claim. On examination, only one of Nagel's construals seems promising enough. It involves the neo-positivistic distinction between theoretical and non-theoretical ("observable") terms; so (...)
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  30.  49
    A Welfarist Version of Harsanyi's Theorem.Claude D'Aspremont & Philippe Mongin - 2008 - In M. Salles and J. Weymark M. Fleurbaey (ed.), Justice, Political Liberalism, and Utilitarianism. Cambridge University Press. pp. Ch. 11.
    This is a chapter of a collective volume of Rawls's and Harsanyi's theories of distributive justice. It focuses on Harsanyi's important Social Aggregation Theorem and technically reconstructs it as a theorem in welfarist social choice.
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  31.  12
    Les deux théories marxiennes de la valeur-travail et le problème de la mesure immanente.Philippe Mongin - 1989 - Archives de Philosophie 52 (2):247-266.
    From the comparison of the Grundrisse (1857-58) manuscripts with Marx's subsequent writings, it is clear that the so-called « deduction » of fundamental economic categories follows two distinctive patterns, one of which is close to ordinary logical analysis, the other being inspired by Hegel's dialectics of essence. This duality is reflected in the double meaning of the concept of « presupposition » (Voraussetzung) and, finally, in the simultaneous endorsement by the Grundrisse of two labour-value theories, one of which is Smithian-like, (...)
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  32.  14
    Le principe de rationalité et l'unité des sciences sociales.Philippe Mongin - 2002 - Revue Economique 53 (2):301-323.
    The paper revisits the rationality principle from the particular perspective of the unity of social sciences. It has been argued that the principle was the unique law of the social sciences and that accordingly there are no deep differences between them (Popper). It has also been argued that the rationality principle was specific to economics as opposed to the other social sciences, especially sociology (Pareto). The paper rejects these opposite views on the grounds that the rationality principle is strictly metaphysical (...)
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  33.  26
    Halévy's Bentham is Bentham.Philippe Mongin & Nathalie Sigot - 1999 - Philosophy 74 (2):271-281.
    A reply to Fransisco Vergara's attack on Halévy's interpretation of Bentham in Philosophy, January, 1998. Vergara had argued that Halévy was mistaken in interpreting Bentham's principle of utility as a psychological law as well as the ethical greatest happiness principle. Mongin and Sigot show that Halévy correctly interpreted Bentham's texts and that the psychological law is necessary to Bentham's legal theory, economics and politics; they also argue that it is incorrect to confuse the principle of utility with a theory of (...)
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  34.  14
    Une conception néo-poppérienne de l’explication en sciences sociales et ses difficultés internes.Philippe Mongin - 2012 - Dialogue 51 (3):503-515.
    The paper investigates and objects to the neo-Popperian conception of explanation in social sciences that Maurice Lagueux propounds in his book Rationality and Explanation in Economics (2010). Inspired by Popper's (1967) famous article on the rationality principle, Lagueux makes this principle central to all social science explanations, including those of neo-classical economics. By retracing one of Lagueux's examples, i.e., Giffen goods, we will show that the rationality principle is neither necessary nor sufficient for a social science explanation. We will also (...)
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  35.  17
    The Infinite Regress of Optimization.Philippe Mongin - 1991 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 14 (2):229-230.
    A comment on Paul Schoemaker's target article in Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 14 (1991), p. 205-215, "The Quest for Optimality: A Positive Heuristic of Science?" (https://doi.org/10.1017/S0140525X00066140). This comment argues that the optimizing model of decision leads to an infinite regress, once internal costs of decision (i.e., information and computation costs) are duly taken into account.
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  36.  13
    The Paradox of the Bayesian Experts.Philippe Mongin - 2001 - In David Corfield & Jon Williamson (eds.), Foundations of Bayesianism. Kluwer Academic Publishers. pp. 309-338.
    This paper (first published under the same title in Journal of Mathematical Economics, 29, 1998, p. 331-361) is a sequel to "Consistent Bayesian Aggregation", Journal of Economic Theory, 66, 1995, p. 313-351, by the same author. Both papers examine mathematically whether the the following assumptions are compatible: the individuals and the group both form their preferences according to Subjective Expected Utility (SEU) theory, and the preferences of the group satisfy the Pareto principle with respect to those of the individuals. While (...)
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  37.  9
    On the Confirmation of the Law of Demand.Philippe Mongin - manuscript
    The paper applies confirmation theory to a famous statement of economics, the law of demand, which says that ceteris paribus, prices and quantities demanded change in opposite directions. Today's economists do not accept the law unless definite restrictions hold, and have shown little interest in deciding whether or not these restrictions were satisfied empirically. However, Hildenbrand (1994) has provided a new derivation of the law of aggregate demand and used this theoretical advance to devise a test that may be the (...)
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  38.  22
    A la recherche du temps perdu : Réponse à M.M. Lafleur, Rosenberg et Salmon.Philippe Mongin - 1988 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 18 (4):537-549.
    A rejoinder to commentators of the paper by P. Mongin, "Le réalisme des hypothèses et la "Partial Interpretation View"", Philosophy of the Social Sciences, 18, 1988, p. 281-325. (This paper is listed and made available by Philpapers.).
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  39.  12
    La critique de l'économie politique dans les Grundrisse de Karl Marx.Philippe Mongin - 1978 - Dissertation, Ecole des Hautes Etudes En Sciences Sociales
    This doctoral thesis was prepared in 1975-77 at Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, Paris, under the supervision of Prof. Raymond ARON. It was submitted in 1977 in fulfilment of the requirements for a Ph.D. degree in Social Sciences (Doctorat de 3e cycle en sciences sociales). The oral examination (soutenance de thèse) was held in January 1978, with the examination committee consisting of Prof. Aron, Bartoli, Boudon and Brochier. This 250 page unpublished dissertation was the first study ever written (...)
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