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01/06/2014

Martha Nussbaum delivers a brilliant plenary address for the Association for Social Economics at 2014 ASSA meetings

1207With Chicago blanketed in snow and no flights leaving O'Hare Airport, University of Chicago philosopher Martha Nussbaum appeared by Skype to present the opening plenary address of the Association for Social Economics during the 2014 meetings of the Allied Social Science Associations in Philadelphia last week.

After being introduced by incoming ASE president Mark D. White, Professor Nussbaum delivered her speech, entitled "Economics Still Needs Philosophy." She focused on a number of areas in which philosophy could enhance economic thinking, including justice (particularly global justice); noncommensurability of values; pluralism and liberalism; relativism and universalism; free will and responsibility; emotion and desire; and justification of ethical and political systems. Throughout her address, Professor Nussbaum suggested ways in which economists could consider each of these topics within their work, and cited recent work in which economists were taking important steps toward doing this. She concluded her talk by commending the Association for Social Economics for emphasizing the links between law and social economics in its 2014 program.

1202Technical problems prevented the audience from asking questions of Professor Nussbaum following her address, but spirited discussion continued during the Association's reception after the talk. The Association wishes to express its sincere gratitude to Professor Nussbaum and the University of Chicago Law School for their cooperation in making this event possible given the extreme weather following New Year's Day, and we look forward to more fruitful collaboration in the future.

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