英文版(ENGLISH)
Prof. Di Iorio Has been invited“Herbert Simon Lecture” at NCCU
 
发布时间: 2016-05-05         浏览次数: 49

Prof. Francesco Di Iorio, a faculty member from School of Humanities at Southeast University, was invited to give lectures in National Chengchi University as a “Herbert Simon Lecture” Speaker. He delivered two lectures on April 25 and 29, respectively, on the following topics: `Hayek as a Methodological Individualist' and `Sensory Order and Methodological Individualism'.

  

  

To be invited, is not only a personal honor of Prof. Di Iorio, but also our honor of Department of Public Administration. The “Herbert Simon Lectures” is established in memory of Herbert A. Simon, winner of many top-level awards including the Association for Computing Machinery's Turing Award (1975), the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics (1978), the National Medal of Science (1986), and the American Psychological Association’s Award for Outstanding Lifetime Contributions to Psychology (1993). His inventions in economics, satisfying behavior and bounded rationality, were substantiated by making extensive use of the computer to simulate human thinking and to augment it with artificial intelligence. The interdisciplinary development of economics over the last two decades has been largely in line with the legacy of Herbert Simon. Pursuing the purpose of promoting interdisciplinary study and research, the “Herbert Simon Lectures”, has invited more than 17 speakers in various disciplines including economics, psychology, computer sciences, physics, and so on. More prestigious speakers will be continuously invited in the future to benefit students and scholars not only in economics, but also in the general computational social sciences.

  

  

Lecture 1: Hayek as a Methodological Individualist

The first lecture by Prof. Francesco Di Iorio was about “Hayek as a Methodological Individualist” on April 25, 2016. Methodological individualism does not have a good reputation in many sectors of the philosophy of social science. According to the most widely-held view, it must be rejected because it is a reductionist approach that conceives society in atomistic terms and neglects the structural constraints that influence action. This interpretation of methodological individualism cannot be accepted because reductionism is only the most simplistic variant of methodological individualism. I shall criticize the widespread view that the entire individualist tradition is committed to reductionism and denies or belittles the effects of social conditioning. Hayek, as well other eminent authors (e.g. Weber, Menger, Mises, Spencer, Merton, Popper, Boudon), defended a non-atomistic variant of methodological individualism that is consistent with non-reductionist explanations. I shall analyze the nature of this variant and focus on the most recent criticisms brought against the concept of methodological individualism within the philosophy of social science. The goal is to demonstrate that these criticisms are based on a misunderstanding and oversimplification of this concept. 

 

Lecture 2: Sensory Order and Methodological Individualism

The second lecture is about “Sensory Order and Methodological Individualism” on April 29, 2016. The non-atomistic variant of methodological individualism is a theory of human autonomy strictly related to an invisible hand model of explanation. ‘Human autonomy’ means that the ultimate causes of (intentional or unintentional) social phenomena must be sought in the individuals and their motivations to act, rather than in holistic social factors that unconsciously determine human actions and cancel individual intentionality. Hayek’s theory of mind, as developed in his book The Sensory Order, includes a very original argument in favor of non-atomistic methodological individualism and its interpretative approach (Verstehen), an argument that has been rather neglected by the literature on the individualism/holism debate. Hayek used refined and pioneering arguments regarding the complexity of the mind to defended human autonomy and develop a highly original critique of the notion of heteronomy supported by the proponents of holism in sociology and philosophy. I shall analyze these arguments and demonstrate that they are partly related to a restatement of ideas developed by the phenomenological and hermeneutic tradition in Continental philosophy. I shall also argue that Hayek’s theory of the self-organizing mind aids understanding of his idea that human knowledge is socially distributed and cannot be centralized.  

 

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