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What can neuroscience teach us about the social world?

Ershov, Philipp (2017) What can neuroscience teach us about the social world? LSE Undergraduate Political Review (06 Dec 2017). Blog Entry.

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Abstract

It is easy to forget that the social sciences as we know them now are a relatively modern phenomenon. Economics was, even in the time of the father of modern ‘textbook’ economics Alfred Marshall, still called ‘political economy’. Political science, prior to its inclusion in the name of the London School of Economics and Political Science, was largely absent from the intellectual arena of the United Kingdom, a major centre of human academic progress since the Enlightenment. Game theory, the tool that many microeconomists and political scientists rely on in their models, was only invented and popularised in the early 20th century by figures like Von Neumann, Morgenstern and Nash. Throughout all of these developments, the social sciences have still not succeeded in developing an accurate predictive capacity, relying rather on analysing and explaining the potential causes of events ex post. Partly because of this, many within the academic community continue to insist on the distinction between the so called ‘natural sciences’ and the ‘social sciences’. Perhaps, therefore, the widespread consensus as to how inquiry into the various social sciences is carried out is, at least in part, unfounded. A paradigm shift, not much unlike the types described by Thomas Kuhn in his ‘Structure of Scientific Revolutions’ (1962) may already be beginning. This revolution is rooted in the insights of brain sciences.

Item Type: Online resource (Blog Entry)
Official URL: https://blogs.lse.ac.uk/lseupr/
Additional Information: © 2017 The Author
Divisions: LSE
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
Date Deposited: 14 Oct 2019 08:18
Last Modified: 20 Nov 2019 02:52
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/102071

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