INSOSCI

The Integration of Cross-Disciplinary Research in Neuroscience and Social Science

Our Project

INSOSCI – research on the foundations of theory integration between economics, psychology, and neuroscience Full Title: The Integration of Cross-Disciplinary Research in Neuroscience and Social Science – a Methodological Study on Economic Policies and the Neurosciences of Agency; funded by the European Commission with researchers at Witten/Herdecke University (Germany), Max-Weber-Kolleg Erfurt (Germany), University of Helsinki (Finland), University of Applied Sciences Brandenburg (Germany), University of Louvain-la-Neuve (Belgium), and University of Leuven (Belgium).

Our Vision

We want to clarify the methodological and philosophical foundations of a successful integration of economics, psychology, and the neurosciences, and we want to explore the implications of such an integration for policy making.

Our Mission

Economics is being revolutionized by newly emerging disciplines such as behavioural economics or neuroeconomics. This has also inspired new approaches to economic policy, e.g. ‘nudging’ citizens towards behaviour deemed to be in their best interest. However, at the same time these developments are being seriously criticised within established economics, often for good reasons. On closer scrutiny, methodological and philosophical issues loom large: What is a powerful economic explanation? How can economics be integrated with other sciences, such as psychology? Are there reliable empirical methods for testing hypotheses that are recognized across the various disciplines? And so forth.

There is great risk that well-intended public policies may do harm and fail if they are based on research that is methodologically flawed. Our project aims at deploying most advanced approaches in the philosophy of science in order to clear up these methodological debates and to develop a conceptual framework for integrating the neurosciences and economics, in particular. As a result, we hope to be able to draft conceptual maps of this complex territory that allow for identifying effective points and ways of policy interventions.

We are a team of philosophers, economists and neuroscientists from Belgium, Finland and Germany who work on three subprojects: financial markets and their regulation; consumer and welfare policies; free will and ethical implications. We actively pursue the cross-linkages across the sub-projects, such as conceptions of rationality of consumer behaviour in general and financial markets in particular, or the possible relevance of phenomena such as addiction across the different domains.

Recent Posts

The Rational Inner Self in the Brain?

10.02.2018

I attended a fascinating talk yesterday on “Behavioral Economics and the Problem of the Rational Inner Self” by Mantas Radzvilas at the Sidney M. Edelstein Center for the History and Philosophy of Science, Technology and Medicine at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Mantas reconstructed what he considers the main theoretical approach in current behavioral economics, […]

READ MORE

Do we need animal spirits?

07.02.2018

The ups and downs of the financial markets in these days draw attention to the increasing role of automatic trading, as in earlier episodes of this kind. The use of sophisticated proprietary software has become a major determinant of competitive advantage of fund managers. Many observers believe that this mitigates flaws of human behaviour because […]

READ MORE
All Posts

Events

07.05.18

open meetingWitten

7th-9th May 2018 (Mo-Wed)

11.02.19

final symposiumWitten

11th-13th February 2019 (Mo-Wed)

All Events
Universität Witten/Herdecke

Team Witten

Visit Our Sub-Project
Funded by: