Is Economics a Science?

Robert J. Shiller is a Nobel Laureate in Economics and an Economics professor at Yale University, in an online article published in 2013 he addresses the vexed question as to whether Economics is a Science. Whilst acknowledging the limitations of his subject as a science readily enough he cannot bring himself to altogether abandon that label. Moreover, he almost seems more interested in highlighting the failures of other disciplines as sciences (chemistry, physics, politics, astronomy…) than to provide evidential support for ...

Who’s an “Indian”?: classification and implications

Who’s indigenous? And does it matter? These are significant questions, with significant answers. They are relevant to TOK both through the new area of knowledge, indigenous knowledge, and an old area of knowledge, ethics – as well as to all the ways of knowing involved in classifying our concepts. Two stories in this past month’s news bring them to life: a court contest in Canada about who is classified as “aboriginal” and a conflict in Tanzania over whether indigenous people ...

TOK and Classification: Nazi poster child was Jewish

Here’s a great story for TOK: “Nazi perfect Aryan poster child was Jewish.” We certainly don’t need additional evidence to debunk racist and nationalist classifications of humanity, but the bitter ironies of this particular story do make it hit home. How we classify – how we group our particular observations into general categories, and then how we use those categories as conceptual generalizations – is a recurrent theme in TOK, involving most ways of knowing (especially intuition and reason, language, ...