A branch of the French social sciences has emerged in the 1980s, known as ‘the economics of conventions’. The term convention is introduced to subvert the utilitarianism of neo-classical economic theory. However, there is no consensual and stabilized definition of this notion. According to the investigation undertaken in this paper in order to clarify basic concepts, this term should be used for naming a research perspective. Researchers involved in ‘the economics of convention’ face two issues : the methodological issue raised by the interactions between institutions and action; the political issue raised by the assessment and the improvement of institutional measures. This article aims to show how the pragmatic philosophy of John Dewey allows for dealing with these issues.
Fondements pragmatistes de l’institutionnalisme en économie. Théorie de la connaissance et théorie de l’action chez Veblen et Commons
The aim of this article is to show that Veblen and Commons’ Institutional Economics is an original translation of philosophical pragmatism in social science. The link between pragmatism and institutionalism is analyzed at two relied levels: the first concerns the conception of science and reality; the second concerns the conception of economic rationality and human behavior in society. We underline that the pragmatist vision about processes of thought linked to action and experience imply a renewal of the method as well as the subject of knowledge in economics, renewal which is characteristic of old institutionalism.
In Memoriam Paul Ricoeur (1913 – 2005)
This article presents a global survey of Paul Ricœur’s work which, beyond the diversity of the treated questions and matters, has in fact a deep unity. Having adopted an hermeneutic process which leads him to defend a theory of the narrative identity giving the concept of person of the French Personalists a philosophic foundation, Paul Ricœur proposes a coherent social philosophy which transcends the trationnal opposition between liberalism and socialism.