The Social World, Reexamined - A Conversation with Brian Epstein

by Howard Burton (Author)
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This book is based on an in-depth filmed conversation between Howard Burton and Brian Epstein, Associate Professor of Philosophy at Tufts University. Brian Epstein’s career as a management consultant piqued his interest and his later research into the reasons why our current models of economics, politics and other areas of social science so often go terribly wrong. The conversation explores how we can dramatically improve our current economic and political models by reexamining our assumptions about the nature of the social world.This carefully-edited book includes an introduction, The Real World, and questions for discussion at the end of each chapter:I. Wondering About the World - A philosophical journeyII. Empirical Influences - From management consultancy to metaphysicsIII. Unquestioned Assumptions - The cult of the individualIV. Beyond Emergence - A Supreme ValueV. Ontological Examinations - Grounding and anchoringVI. Better Models - Beyond agent-based thinkingVII. Modelling Concerns - Fear of mushinessVIII. Getting Specific - Modelling corruptionIX. No, We Can’t - The impact of a small political gene poolX. Responses and Reactions - The good, the bad, and the uglyXI. The Value of Breadth - Appreciating the humanitiesXII. Learning Our Lessons? - Or perhaps notXIII. Applied Philosophy - The “social turn”About Ideas Roadshow Conversations Series: This book is part of an expanding series of 100+ Ideas Roadshow conversations, each one presenting a wealth of candid insights from a leading expert in a relaxed and informal setting to give non-specialists a uniquely accessible window into frontline research and scholarship that wouldn't otherwise be encountered through standard lectures and textbooks. For other books in this series visit our website:

Publication date
September 30, 2020
File size
1 MB