Herrade Igersheim : Prix du meilleur article AISPE 2023

10 novembre 2023

L’Italian Association for the History of Economic Thought (AISPE) a décerné son prix du meilleur article 2023 à Herrade Igersheim, directrice de recherche CNRS et chercheuse au BETA, pour son article “Rawls and the economists: The (im)possible dialogue”,  publié dans le numéro spécial de la Revue économique (novembre 2022), en mémoire de Philippe Mongin (1950-2020).

Résumé de l’article :

Although falling within the scope of political and moral philosophy, it is well known that A Theory of Justice has also had a great impact on economists. As such, Rawls put great emphasis on his desire to combine economics and philoso­ phy, and particularly to deal with rational choice theory, notably claiming that “the theory of justice is a part, perhaps the most significant part, of the theory of rational choice” (Rawls [1971]). After the publication of A Theory of Justice, aspects of it came in for criticism—often very vehement—by economists such as Arrow [1973], Musgrave [1974], Harsanyi [1975] and later by Sen [1980]. Rawls’s immediate an­ swers ([1974a], [1974b] in particular) showed that he first wanted to maintain a dialogue with the economists, but the later evolutions of his works ([1993], [2001]) clearly demonstrated that he had removed himself from the economic realm, re­ turning to his initial philosophical territory in order to overcome the internal incon­ sistencies of A Theory of Justice. In this paper, by focusing extensively on the letter exchanges between Rawls and the economists before and after the publication of A Theory of Justice, I attempt to shed light on other (complementary) elements which can explain Rawls’s retreat from the realm of economics, and his progressive disenchantment regarding the possibility of a dialogue on equal footing between economists and philosophers.