Sivertsen Wins Blaug Prize in Philosophy and Economics


The Erasmus Journal for Philosophy of Economics has awarded the 2018-2019 Mark Blaug Prize in Philosophy and Economics to Sveinung S. Sivertsen (University of Bergen).

The Blaug Prize is awarded to a graduate student or recent graduate student for an article in philosophy of economics, with the aim of promoting and rewarding scholarship in that area. You can learn more about Mark Blaug, for whom the prize is named, here.

Professor Sivertsen won the Blaug Prize for his article, “On the Practical Impossibility of Being Both Well-Informed and Impartial.” Here’s the abstract of the article:

Adam Smith argued that the ideal moral judge is both well-informed and impartial. As non-ideal moral agents, we tend only to be truly well-informed about those with whom we frequently interact. These are also those with whom we tend to have the closest affective bonds. Hence, those who are well-informed, like our friends, tend to make for partial judges, while those who are impartial, like strangers, tend to make for ill-informed ones. Combining these two traits in one person seems far from straightforward. Still, if becoming well-informed is, as Smith also claims, a matter of imaginative perspective-taking with the “person principally concerned” (TMS, I.i.1.4, 13), it might be possible to become well-informed without the emotional entanglement that comes from any actual proximity to those we judge. Against this intuition, I use Construal Level Theory to show that the tension between being well-informed and impartial is likely to persist even if we take any actual proximity out of the equation. I end by discussing some implications of this, and suggest that we should consider revising the ideal to accommodate them.

The prize is 500 euros.

(via Måns Abrahamson)

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