Edited by Michael Szenberg and Lall Ramrattan
Chapter 16: Some Ethical and Methodological Convictions
* E. Malinvaud The essays published here are sorts of autobiographies by academic economists about their scientific motivations and their professional life. This will also be the case in my contribution. I shall make an honest attempt at taking a philosophical stance and considering economics from the two standpoints of ethics and methodology, the only realms of philosophy about which I have definite ideas on how to apply them in my field. I shall try to avoid as much as possible repetitions of details, reported in what I wrote not so long ago about my main contributions to our discipline for a series of ‘recollections on professional experience’ (Malinvaud, 1987). This essay is not the place for lengthy arguments for my ethical or methodological positions, which a philosopher would find neither original nor deeply rooted in anything other than the environments in which I was born, grew up, and worked. Thinking that these environments may be unfamiliar to readers, I shall briefly characterize them when necessary. INITIAL MOTIVATIONS At the age of 13, I was taking the regular curriculum, along with Latin and Greek, at the ‘lycée de Limoges,’ the public high school of Limoges, a provincial, somewhat industrial town in a mostly rural area. A good deal of my spare time was spent as a Christian boy scout, sharing the enthusiasm about the movement that was frequent in those years. My family was loving and secure. My father was a lawyer with socialist ideas, who married late because...
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