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Francis Ysidro Edgeworth on the regularity of law and the impartiality of chance

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  • Alberto Baccini

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    Abstract

    This paper proposes a general interpretation of Edgworth’s thought based on the recognition of a unitary philosophical project in his contributions to ethics, economics, probability and statistics. This project consists in the search for a common epistemological foundation for the social sciences. The point is illustrated in reference to the coexistence in Edgworthian scientific programme of the ‘regularity of law’ with the ‘impartiality of chance’. The interpretation here proposed challenges the traditional stereotypes according to which Edgeworth was a crass utilitarian, and an ingenuous advocate of a rather primitive neoclassical economics. His plea for the use of mathematics, and his choice of deterministic models for the description of the economic behaviour, appear more innovative when the role of probability is considered

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    File URL: http://www.econ-pol.unisi.it/quaderni/493.pdf
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    Paper provided by Department of Economics, University of Siena in its series Department of Economics University of Siena with number 493.

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    Date of creation: Jan 2007
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    Handle: RePEc:usi:wpaper:493

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    1. Alberto Baccini, 2004. "High pressure and black clouds: Keynes and the frequentist theory of probability," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 28(5), pages 653-666, September.
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