Prof. Francesco Di Iorio (Nankai University in Tianjin)
Date: 21th January 2018 (Sunday)
Time: 2.00pm - 4.00pm
Venue: Government Innovation Lab (Crescent Building)
According to F. A. Hayek, a market society is a complex self-organizing system that uses a distributed knowledge that cannot be centralized. He argues that, as a consequence, a planned economy cannot match the performance of a market society and is bound to fail. Hayek’s critique of planned economies is related to his methodological analysis of the problem of prediction in the social sciences. In Hayek’s opinion, detailed and quantitative predictions are impossible in the social sciences mainly because of three reasons: (i) the social distribution of knowledge, i.e. the constant and unpredictable change of the initial conditions of the explanation ; (ii) the probabilistic or non-deterministic nature of the covering laws used to make sense of human behavior (for Hayek, this depends on the fact that the human mind is, like a market society, a complex self-organizing system); and (iii) the emergence of largely unpredictable unintended consequences of human actions. According to Hayek, the only predictions that are possible in the social sciences are general “pattern predictions”.
Francesco Di Iorio is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Nankai University in Tianjin (China). His research interests focus on philosophy of social science, particularly non-reductionist methodological individualism, hermeneutics, fallibilism, ordinary rationality, complex systems, and Austrian School of Economics. He earned his PhD in Philosophy from EHESS and CREA-École Polytechnique (France) in 2012. Before joining Nankai University, he held postdoctoral positions at Duke University – Hope Center (USA) and Sorbonne-Paris 4 University (GEMASS - FMSH Fernand Braudel fellowship) and teaching positions at ESCP Europe Paris (France), Luiss University (Italy) and Southeast University (China). He is one of the winners of the Nankai One Hundred Young Academic Leaders Program. Also, he has been awarded the Tianjin Thousand Talents Program prize.
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