They Finally Tested The ‘Prisoner’s Dilemma’ On Actual Prisoners — And The Results Were Not What You Would Expect

Last week, Australia’s Business Insider magazine published the results of a study conducted by two economists from the University of Hamburg. The findings are of interest because they invalidate some of the key assumptions upon which much economic theory is based:  that human beings are fundamentally self-interested and motivated by their own selfishness. The hypothetical … More They Finally Tested The ‘Prisoner’s Dilemma’ On Actual Prisoners — And The Results Were Not What You Would Expect

Capitalism, Contextualization and The Political Theory of Possessive Individualism

Last year was the fiftieth anniversary of C. B. Macpherson’s classic study of seventeenth century English political theory, The Political Theory of Possessive Individualism. Macpherson’s book signalled an important shift in the history of political thought; it sought to situate English political thought within the social context of a ‘possessive market society’. Despite its innovations, … More Capitalism, Contextualization and The Political Theory of Possessive Individualism

Republicans against Hayek

I’ve been re-reading Philip Pettit’s book Republicanism after having recently read most of Hayek’s The Constitution of Liberty. What is striking about Pettit’s book is the seemingly wilful neglect of Hayek’s conceptualization of liberty. In fact, in his republican critique of negative liberty, Pettit neglects to address either, The Constitution of Liberty or Law, Legislation … More Republicans against Hayek

The Politics of the 99%, a.k.a., ‘Democracy’

Prior to the eighteenth century, most commentators shared Aristotle’s definition of democracy as a constitution in which ‘those who are free and are not well-off, being in the majority, are in sovereign control of government.’1 By this, Aristotle did not simply mean that democracy was a simple case of the ‘rule of the majority’; rather, … More The Politics of the 99%, a.k.a., ‘Democracy’