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Scope of the Seminar

Page history last edited by aetzel@gmail.com 12 years, 7 months ago

The science of economics is not related to philosophy only through the restrictive nexus of epistemology. And philosophy is not related to economics solely through the use of vague notions such as “capitalism” and “neoliberalism”. Obviously there is a large gap in front of us and it needs to be filled. If the dimension of the gap is large enough to prevent most of us from a burdensome academic endeavor, it is not wide enough to swallow the curiosity of some students that are faced with the problem that it poses. This very curiosity is on the roots of Economics on the Border, an open seminar run jointly by students from EIPE and the Philosophy MA (EUR) in Rotterdam.


During the course of this series of seminars, students will try to map the various possible borders between philosophy and economics  by reading economics not with new classical glasses, but rather by appealing to those very instances standard economic  theory is reluctant to deal wtih:


  • In the epistemological field an attempt will be made to link economics with certain currents in continental philosophy of science that focus on questions of scientific change, worldview and their relation with the history –and not only the method- of economic thought. We will discuss philosophers and historians of science such as Gaston Bachelard, Alexandre Koyré, Georges Canguillem, Emile Meyerson, Thomas Kuhn and Michel Foucault.
  • In the field of sociology we will try to connect distant (Max Weber) and recent (Bourdieu, Sennett) social theory to economics as a social science and as a concrete practice. We will focus on notions such as demystification, craftsmanship, mechanization and public space and try to see whether the practice of economic theory has a share in their effects.
  • In the field of feminist studies we will discuss the gendered and racialized rationality of capital. We will try to connect these problems both to the field of epistemology (particularly economic) and to the problematic of globalization and neoliberalism and try to define their limits.
  • In the field of the so-called “post-modern” philosophy an attempt will be made to define the borders between certain approaches to economics and capitalism and to economic theory and method.Special attention will be given to the concept of subjectivity and subject production in the works of Deleuze-Guattari, Foucault, Heidegger, Lévinas, Lacan, Benjamin. Furthermore we will try to explore some “radical” or alternative epistemological considerations that were or could be applied to economics –such as the idea of rhizome in Deleuze-Guattari,  the economics of “excess” in the work of Georges Bataille.
  • Finally in the course of the seminar -since this list cannot be fully inclusive- we will trace certain affinities between economics and phychoanalysis, critical theory, aesthetics and other fields of philosophical thought and everyday practice. Of course this depends a lot on the active participation of new “members” of the seminar and on possible visitors from other institutions.


The seminars will be held monthly on Dek22 at 22 Willem Buytewechstraat. For more specific information on the subjects discussed please see our Proposed Contributions page. Feel free to join our seminar -new participations and lecture proposals are more than welcome! But most of all: feel free to speak and dare to think! 

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