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2020 Spring

Professor Eric SchliesserEric Schliesser

January 6-29, 2020

In-class collaboration

Bio: Dr. E.S. Schliesser (1971) is a professor of Political Science, with a focus on Political Theory, at the University of Amsterdam’s (UvA) Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences.

Eric Schliesser's (PhD, The University of Chicago, 2002) research encompasses a variety of themes, ranging from economic statistics in classical Babylon, the history of the natural sciences and forgotten 18th-century feminists (both male and female) to political theory and the history of political theory and the assumptions used in mathematical economics. Schliesser's interest in the influence of Chicago school of economics has increasingly moved his research toward the study of the methodology and political role of economists as experts.

He was previously affiliated with Syracuse University, Leiden University, and Ghent University among others. Schliesser has published prolifically on Newton, Huygens, Spinoza, Berkeley, Hume, Adam Smith and Sophie De Grouchy. His publications include his monograph, Adam Smith: Systematic Philosopher and Public Thinker (OUP, 2017). He has edited numerous volumes including (inter alia) Newton and Empiricism (OUP, with Zvi Biener, 2014); Sympathy, a History of a Concept (OUP, 2015); Ten Neglected Classics of Philosophy (Oxford, 2017). Right now he is working on a translation and critical edition of Sophie de Grouchy's Letters on Sympathy (together with Sandrine Berges). He keeps a daily blog Digressionsnimpressions.

Professor Agnes CallardAgnes Callard

February 10-21, 2020

Bio: Agnes Callard is Associate Professor and director of Undergraduate studies in the department of Philosophy at the University of Chicago. She received her MA in Classics and her Ph.D. in Philosophy from the University of California, Berkeley. Her primary areas of specialization are Ancient Philosophy and Ethics. Her book, Aspiration: the agency of becoming (OUP, 2018), argues for the existence of a practically rational process by which agents endeavor to learn to value new things. She is currently at work on a book about Socratic Refutation.

Workshop on Kinship and Social/Economic Behavior

March 7, 2020

The study of kinship has traditionally been the domain of anthropology, but there is growing interest in the topic among other social scientists. Bringing together speakers from economics and anthropology, our workshop aims to explore how kinship practices influence (and are influenced by) our social world with an interdisciplinary approach. We will bring together world-renowned scholars working at the cutting edge of kinship research. The intended audience of the workshop consists of faculty and students with interdisciplinary interests. The workshop provides a unique opportunity to explore how historical events and cultural and religious practices have interacted to create widely varying kin-based institutions across societies; and how kin-based institutions in turn impacted contemporary political and economic outcomes around the world. For more information, please contact the event organizer Professor Erik Kimbrough, ekimbrou@chapman.edu.


2019 Fall

Flyer for "Tank Man" film screening and panel "30 Years After Tiananmen: Tank Man and the Struggle for Democracy in China""Tank Man" Film Screening & Panel
30 Years After Tiananmen: Tank Man and the Struggle for Democracy in China

May 31, 219 • 5:30 - 7:00 PM • Beckman 104

Reception at 7:00 PM

Panelists: Robert Anthony Peters (Actor, Director, and Writer), Michael Valdez Moses (Chapman University), Chaohua Wang (UCLA), Terril Jones (Claremont McKenna College)

Manuscript Workshop: Daniel Layman, Locke Among the Radicals

September 13, 2019 • 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM • Becket Building 102

The Smith Institute will host a manuscript workshop centered around Daniel Layman’s forthcoming book Locke Among the Radicals. 

In addition to members of the Smith Institute, participants include:

  • Daniel Layman (Davidson College);
  • Eric MacGilvray (Ohio State University);
  • Frank Lovett (Washington University, St. Louis).

Attendance is free. Participants will be expected to read Dr. Layman’s manuscript ahead of the event. The manuscript is available upon request. Please contact Professor Bas van der Vossen.

Painting of John Locke1st Annual Meeting of Locke Working Group

September 14, 2019 • 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM • Wilkinson Hall 120

The Smith Institute will host the first ever meeting of a new working group focused on the political thought of John Locke. The working group brings together early to mid-career scholars from different countries with the aim to continue and develop Lockean political thought. Participants this year are: 

  • Susanne Shreedhar (Boston University);
  • Kathryn Tabb (Columbia University);
  • Tim Stuart-Buttle (York University);
  • Kei Numao (Keio University);
  • Jesse Spafford (Graduate Center, CUNY);
  • Johan Olsthoorn (University of Amsterdam);
  • Billy Christmas (King’s College London);
  • Daniel Layman (Davidson College);
  • Bas van der Vossen (Chapman University).

Attendance is free. As this is a read-ahead workshop, participants should contact the event’s organizer Bas van der Vossen to obtain the readings.

Student Colloquium: Freedom, Oppression, and Marriage: Reading Locke and his Female Interlocutors

October 12, 2019 • 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM • BK204

This student colloquium will investigate the political thought of John Locke and how this treats women’s rights and freedom. Many feminist authors have criticized Locke and liberalism on the grounds that these cannot treat women as truly free and equal persons. We will be reading part of Locke’s original text in conversation with a number of Locke’s female interlocutors, many of whom offered arguments about their rights, their freedom in marriage, often anticipating, using or critiquing Locke’s arguments. We’ll be asking whether we should be worried about Lockean liberalism in light of the oppression of women, or might use his theory to make sense of these problems

 The event is organized by Professor Katharine Gillespie and Bas van der Vossen. Both will also moderate student discussion. The event is invitation only and is sponsored by the Institute for Humane Studies.  

Professor Marjorie PerloffMarjorie Perloff, Ph.D., Presidential Fellow, Chapman University
Author of Wittgenstein’s Ladder: Poetic Language and the Strangeness of the Ordinary
Lecture: The Strangeness of the Ordinary: Wittgenstein’s Philosophical Investigations

October 24, 2019 • 7:00 PM • Argyros Forum 209

Ludwig Wittgenstein’s Philosophical Investigations—one of the great philosophy books of the 20th century—argues that philosophy is not a theory but a practice and that its key is an understanding of how language works. There are no grand overarching Platonic ideas—of beauty, goodness, justice, truth—but rather words that have meanings in very specific contexts. The Philosophical Investigations takes on—and refutes—the Augustinian theory of language which prevailed for centuries—the theory that WORDS represent specific THINGS. Dr. Perloff argues that what Wittgenstein teaches us above all else is to question large, meaningless generalizations, whether in politics or aesthetics or ethics. He helps us understand that there are no thoughts outside of language.

Marjorie Perloff was born Gabriele Mintz into an assimilated Jewish family in Vienna. In the immediate aftermath of the Anschluss, Gabriele, her parents, and older brother escaped to Switzerland and later emigrated to the United States. A prolific and groundbreaking scholar, Dr. Perloff has written more than a dozen books. A recipient of the Robert Penn Warren Prize, Dr. Perloff is Scholar-in-Residence and Florence Scott Professor of English Emerita, at USC, and Sadie Dernham Patek Professor of Humanities Emerita, at Stanford University. She is an elected Fellow of the American Philosophical Society and the American of Arts and Sciences.

Book cover of Strategic JusticeStrategic Justice Conference

November 16, 2019 • 9:00 AM • Becket 102

The Smith Institute will host a workshop on Peter Vanderschraaf's recent book, Strategic Justice: Convention and Problems of Balancing Divergent interests. The workshop will include papers from:

  • Jerry Gaus (University of Arizona);
  • Paul Weithman (Note Dame University);
  • Michael Moehler (Virgina Tech);
  • Justin Bruner (University of Arizona);
  • John Thrasher (Chapman University).

In addition:

  • Peter Vanderschraaf (Arizona);
  • Brian Skyrms (Irvine);
  • James Hanink (Loyola-Marymount University);

will also be attending. The narrow purpose of this event is to workshop commentary papers for various journals on PEter's book, but the larger purpose is to encoirage thought and discussion about the ideas in the book more generally to foster ties between the participants and members of the Smith Institute and Chapman University. 

"Peter Vanderschraaf’s highly anticipated Strategic Justice is simultaneously the best book on conventions since David Lewis’s Convention, and one of the best systematic works on justice and political philosophy of the 21st Century so far. Like Lewis, Vanderschraaf makes advances in the technical study of conventions while at the same time using these ideas to solve core problems in moral and political philosophy. Vanderschraaf develops the thesis that justice is conventional—an idea shared by Epicurus, Hobbes, and Hume among others—with an unusual level of precision, rigor, and insight. Along the way, Strategic Justice addresses tough questions about the stability and attractiveness of a conventional theory of justice, as well as the hard problem of how the vulnerable will be treated in such a system. I suspect it will take many years for all of the insights here to be digested. Nevertheless, Strategic Justice should be required reading for serious students of conventions and political philosophy. There is much to learn here and those who take the time to join the ranks of the initiated will be rewarded for their time and effort" - Professor John Thrasher, Chapman University.

This event is organized by Professor John Thrasher. Please contact the organizer for specific details.

2019 Spring

Professor Eric SchleisserEric Schliesser

January 2-30, 2019

In-class collaboration:
ECON/ENG/PHIL 357 "Topics in Humanomics: Milton's Paradise Lost and the Ethics and Economics of Wealth Creation"

Bio: Dr. E.S. Schliesser (1971) is a professor of Political Science, with a focus on Political Theory, at the University of Amsterdam’s (UvA) Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences.

Eric Schliesser's (PhD, The University of Chicago, 2002) research encompasses a variety of themes, ranging from economic statistics in classical Babylon, the history of the natural sciences and forgotten 18th-century feminists (both male and female) to political theory and the history of political theory and the assumptions used in mathematical economics. Schliesser's interest in the influence of Chicago school of economics has increasingly moved his research toward the study of the methodology and political role of economists as experts.

He was previously affiliated with Syracuse University, Leiden University, and Ghent University among others. Schliesser has published prolifically on Newton, Huygens, Spinoza, Berkeley, Hume, Adam Smith and Sophie De Grouchy. His publications include his monograph, Adam Smith: Systematic Philosopher and Public Thinker (OUP, 2017). He has edited numerous volumes including (inter alia) Newton and Empiricism (OUP, with Zvi Biener, 2014); Sympathy, a History of a Concept (OUP, 2015); Ten Neglected Classics of Philosophy (Oxford, 2017). Right now he is working on a translation and critical edition of Sophie de Grouchy's Letters on Sympathy(together with Sandrine Berges). He keeps a daily blog Digressionsnimpressions.

Robert Sugden

Workshop: April 4• 9:00 AM

Bio: Robert Sugden is Professor of Economics at the University of East Anglia in the United Kingdom. His research uses a combination of theoretical, experimental and philosophical methods to investigate issues in behavioural economics, normative economics, choice under uncertainty, the foundations of decision and game theory, the methodology of economics, and the evolution of social conventions. His current work focuses on the problem of reconciling behavioural and normative economics, and is synthesized in his recent book The Community of Advantage (Oxford University Press, 2018).

Jacqueline Broad & Karen Detlefsen

Lecture: "Women and Liberty, 1600-1800: Philosophical Essays"

April 23, 2019 • 5:00 - 6:30 PM • AF209C

Reception at 6:30 PM

Karen DetlefsenBio: Karen Detlefsen is Professor of Philosophy and Education at the University of Pennsylvania. Her research focuses on early modern philosophy, including the history of philosophy of science, the history and philosophy of education, and women in the history of philosophy. She has published on a wide range of figures, including Astell, Cavendish, Conway, Descartes, Du Châtelet, Hobbes, Leibniz, Malebranche, and Wolff, covering topics in metaphysics, the natural sciences, ethics and political philosophy. She has held grants from the National Science Foundation, the American Council of Learned Society, the Australian Research Council, and the Social Sciences and Humanities Council of Canada.

Jacqueline BroadBio: Jacqueline Broad is Associate Professor of Philosophy in the School of Philosophical, Historical, and International Studies at Monash University, Melbourne, Australia. Her main area of expertise is early modern philosophy. Her recent books include The Philosophy of Mary Astell (Oxford University Press, 2015) and an edited volume (with Karen Detlefsen) Women and Liberty, 1600-1800: Philosophical Essays (Oxford University Press, 2017). She is currently working on a two-volume edition of the correspondence of women philosophers of the early modern period, for publication with Oxford's New Histories of Philosophy series.

2018 Fall

Professor Deirdre McCloskeyDeirdre McCloskey

October 15-18, 2018

In-class collaborations:
FFC 100 "Humanomics: Exchange and the Human Condition"
FFC 100 "Humanomics: The Ism Schism"
Econ 315 "Economics of Religion"

Bio: Deirdre N. McCloskey has been since 2000 UIC Distinguished Professor of Economics, History, English, and Communication at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Trained at Harvard as an economist, she has written sixteen books and edited seven more, and has published some three hundred and sixty articles on economic theory, economic history, philosophy, rhetoric, feminism, ethics, and law. She taught for twelve years in Economics at the University of Chicago, and describes herself now as a "postmodern free-market quantitative Episcopalian feminist Aristotelian." Her latest books are How to be Human* *Though an Economist (University of Michigan Press 2001), Measurement and Meaning in Economics (S. Ziliak, ed.; Edward Elgar 2001), The Secret Sins of Economics (Prickly Paradigm Pamphlets, U. of Chicago Press, 2002), The Cult of Statistical Significance: How the Standard Error Costs Us Jobs, Justice, and Lives [with Stephen Ziliak; University of Michigan Press, 2008], The Bourgeois Virtues: Ethics for an Age of Capitalism (U. of Chicago Press, 2006), Bourgeois Dignity: Why Economics Can't Explain the Modern World (U. of Chicago Press, 2010), and Bourgeois Equality: How Ideas, Not Capital or Institutions, Enriched the World (U. of Chicago Press, 2016). Before The Bourgeois Virtues her best-known books were The Rhetoric of Economics (University of Wisconsin Press, 1st ed. 1985, 2nd ed. 1998) and Crossing: A Memoir (U. of Chicago Press, 1999), which was a New York TimesNotable Book.

Her scientific work has been on economic history, especially British. Her recent book Bourgeois Equality is a study of Dutch and British economic and social history. She has written on British economic "failure" in the 19th century, trade and growth in the 19th century, open field agriculture in the middle ages, the Gold Standard, and the Industrial Revolution.

Her philosophical books include The Rhetoric of Economics (University of Wisconsin Press 1st ed. 1985; 2nd ed. 1998), If You're So Smart: The Narrative of Economic Expertise (University of Chicago Press 1990), and Knowledge and Persuasion in Economics (Cambridge 1994). They concern the maladies of social scientific positivism, the epistemological limits of a future social science, and the promise of a rhetorically sophisticated philosophy of science. In her later work she has turned to ethics and to a philosophical-historical apology for modern economies.

Professor John WallisJohn Wallis

Lecture: October 19, 2018 • 3:00 p.m. • Wilkinson Hall 116

Bio: Professor Wallis received his PhD in economics from the University of Washington in 1981. After a post-doctoral fellowship at the University Chicago, he came to the University of Maryland Department of Economics in 1983. He has been a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research since 1989.

Professor Wallis is an economic historian who specializes in the public finance of American governments, constitutional development, and more generally on the institutional development of governments and economies. He teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in American Economic History (Economics 611 and 311), an undergraduate course on Economic History and Modern Development (Economics 412) and a graduate class on the theory of the state (Economics 613).

Recent publications include "Constitutions, Corporations, and Corruption" in Journal of Economic History, March 2005, "The Concept of Systematic Corruption in American History" in Glaeser and Goldin, eds. Corruption and Reform: Lessons from America's Economic History, University of Chicago Press, 2006, and Violence and Social Orders: A Conceptual Framework for Interpreting Recorded Human History, with Douglass North and Barry Weingast, Cambridge University Press, 2009.

2017 Fall

Michael Valdez Moses

Michael Valdez Moses, Ph.D.

September 20, 2017 • 11 a.m.
Argyros Forum 209B

"Saved the Blessings of Civilization": John Ford's Stagecoach and American Vernacular Modernism

View the lecture video

Summary: While John Ford’s status as one of the founders of modern cinema has long been secure, his contribution to a “modernist” cinema remains very much in doubt.  While film historians have noted the influence of Murnau’s expressionist films, especially Sunrise (1927), on the cinema of Ford (both directors were working for Fox Studios in the mid-1920s), and many of the most distinguished directors of the European and international “new wave” (including François Truffaut, Jean-Luc Godard, Ingmar Bergman, Federico Fellini, Wim Wenders, Akira Kurosawa, and Satyajit Ray) acknowledged Ford’s influence on their art, a widespread critical perception remains that Ford’s most famous and popular movies, and most especially his Westerns, embody a socially conservative and relatively traditional Hollywood aesthetic. This characterization of his work fails to recognize that Ford was a key contributor to an innovative form of vernacular American modernism that emerged in the late 1920s and 1930s, and that offered an alternative to the cosmopolitan and European varieties of high modernism associated with expatriate American artists such as Ezra Pound, T. S. Eliot, and Gertrude Stein. Though the “grammar,” “lexicon,” and “idiom” of American vernacular modernism varied according to the particular medium or art in which it was developed, an overlapping set of subjects, motifs, and representational techniques cut across arts as diverse as American cinematography, painting, music, architecture, and dance. Moreover, Ford’s vernacular modernism of the late 1930s was self-consciously populist, critical, and allied with the politically progressive elements of the New Deal.

Focusing on Stagecoach (1939)...continue to explore the full summary.

Bio: Michael Valdez Moses is Associate Professor of English and Affiliated Member of the Faculty in the Program of Literature at Duke University. Professor Moses grew up in Los Angeles and was educated at Harvard, New College, Oxford, and the University of Virginia. He is the author of The Novel and the Globalization of Culture (Oxford UP, 1995), and editor/co-editor of A Modernist Cinema (forthcoming, Oxford UP), Modernism, Postcolonialism, Globalism: Anglophone Literature 1958 to Present (Oxford UP, 2018), Modernism and Cinema, (Edinburgh UP, 2010), Modernism and Colonialism: British and Irish Literature, 1900-1939 (Duke UP, 2007), and The Writings of J. M. Coetzee (Duke UP, 1994. He is a founding co-editor of the journal, Modernist Cultures (published by Edinburg University Press). His main interests are in 20th-century comparative literature (especially British and Irish modernism), global postcolonial literature, the history of film, and the interdisciplinary study of literature, political philosophy, and economics.

Katharine Gillespie

Katharine Gillespie, Ph.D.

September 21, 2017 • 4 p.m.
Wilkinson Hall 116

"Shades of Representation: Lucy Hutchinson’s Ghost and the Politics of the Representative"

View the lecture video

Abstract: Mary Nyqvist’s and Margaret Ferguson’s groundbreaking essay collection, Re-Membering Milton (1987) called for critics to situate “Milton’s presentation of gender relations historically, including, now, in relation to the various women writers of the period who have recently been discovered” (xv). In “Shades of Representation: Lucy Hutchinson’s Ghost and the Politics of the Representative,” Katharine Gillespie heeds that call. She explores conceptions of liberty by placing Milton’s gendered analysis of idolatry in the household and the state in dialogue with Lucy Hutchinson’s more egalitarian exploration of personal and political idolatry in her writings honoring her husband, the republican war hero and regicide, John Hutchinson. Continuing her revision of earlier accounts of the supposedly adversarial relationship between feminism and liberalism, Gillespie’s exploration of emerging ideals of liberty deepens our understanding of the multiple uses and effects of this key Miltonic term.

Bio: Katharine Gillespie is Professor of Seventeenth-Century English and Colonial American Literature at Miami University. She specializes in writings by seventeenth-century women who were associated with religious and political dissent. She is the author of Domesticity and Dissent in the Seventeenth-Century: English Women Writers and the Public Sphere (Cambridge University Press, 2004) and Women Writing the English Republic, 1625-1681 (Cambridge University Press, 2917). She is the editor of Writings by Katherine Chidley (Ashgate, 2009) ) and of The Prophetess and the Patriarch: The Visions of an Anti-Regicide in Seventeenth Century England (Writings by Elizabeth Poole) (forthcoming, The Other Voices Series, Iter Press, 2017). She is currently at work on a new monograph, Eve’s Economy: Capitalism and Female Agency in the English Restoration.

George Tsai

George Tsai, Ph.D.

October 16, 2017 • 10:30 a.m.
Argyros Forum 209A

"Respect and the Efficacy of Blame"

Abstract: What is the role of respect in enabling blame to be effective in changing the blamed's attitude and behavior? I argue that the interest in having another person's respect plays an important role in enabling blame to be effective. More specifically, I develop an account of blame’s operations in three different cases (standard, intermediate, and proleptic blame), and raise a normative worry: when blame achieves its desired effect in cases where the blamer and blamed are far apart in their moral understanding and motivations, blame begins to approximate manipulation and coercion, leaving a moral residue.

Bio: George Tsai is an Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Hawaii. His research interests are in moral and political philosophy. More specifically, his work focuses on the moral complexity of relationships and transactions in our personal and political lives. He has published articles in leading venues including Philosophy and Public Affairs, Journal of Political Philosophy, Pacific Philosophical Quarterly, Social Theory and Practice, and Oxford Studies in Agency and Responsibility.

Eric SchliesserEric Schliesser, Ph.D.

October 23, 2017 • 8 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Sandhu Conference Center Suite E

Adam Smith: Systematic Philosopher and Public Thinker

Summary: This workshop brings together leading experts to explore the significance of Eric Schliesser's Adam Smith (OUP, 2017). The book is the product of two decades' reflection by the author on Adam Smith and the Scottish Enlightenment. The book treats Adam Smith as an exemplary public intellectual whose ideas successfully helped shape the foundations for a liberal society. A key presupposition of the book's argument is that liberal ideas can and need to be renewed in light of both our present challenges and, simultaneously, by reflection on the paths to the present.

Unique among treatments of Adam Smith, Schliesser's book treats him as a systematic philosopher. He places Smith's ideas in the context of a host of other philosophers, especially Hume, Rousseau, and Newton; and he draws on the reception of Smith's ideas by Sophie de Grouchy, Mary Wollstonecraft, and other philosophers and economists to sketch the elements of, and the detailed connections within, Smith's system.

Schliesser offers new interpretations of Smith's views on the invisible hand, the Wealth of Nations, his treatment of virtue, the nature of freedom, the individual's relationship to society, his account of the passions, the moral roles of religion, and his treatment of the role of mathematics in economics.

For this workshop, Dr. Schliesser will be joined by Smith Institute Faculty and...
Brianne Wolf, Ph.D.

Brianne Wolf, Ph.D.

Brianne Wolf is Assistant Professor of Political Science and Director of the political economy program at Ashland University, where she teaches courses on political economy and history of political thought. She completed her undergraduate work at Michigan State University, has an M.A. from the University of Chicago, and a Ph.D. in political science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison for her dissertation work on the relationship between freedom and aesthetic judgment in the modern age. She has published on both Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Adam Smith. During summer 2018, Brianne will be a Smith Scholar in residence at Liberty Fund in Indianapolis.

M. Ali Kahn, Ph.D.

M. Ali Kahn, Ph.D.

M. Ali Khan (Abram Hutzler Professor of Political Economy) obtained his B.Sc. (Econ) from the London School of Economics, and M.Phil. and Ph.D. from Yale in 1969, 1972 and 1973 respectively. He is interested in how economics stands in relation to mathematics and language as well as to issues of ethics and epistemology, and how these registers call the robustness of disciplinary boundaries of social sciences into question. This has led him to the "economics of the 18th century", and more generally to the language of commerce in a variety of texts that includes the Quran.

Eric Schliesser, Ph.D.

October 27, 2017 • 3 p.m.
Wilkinson Hall 116

"Rawls and the Economists on The Displacement of Knightian Uncertainty in Mathematical Economics."

Abstract: The main aim of this paper is to understand how and why (true) Knightian uncertainty was displaced during the so-called formal revolution in mathematical economics. I discuss a number of arguments that led to the sidelining of true uncertainty (associated with the ideas of Knight and Keynes) and I explore two displacement strategies associated with ideas of Arrow and Alchian. However, I frame my discussion by way of a debate between Arrow and Rawls. For, it turns out that Rawls accepted Knightian uncertainty. I propose a conceptual framework that can bring these foundational debates in mathematical economics, political economy, and political philosophy together.

Bio: Eric Schliesser (PhD in Philosophy, The University of Chicago) is Professor of Political Theory at the University of Amsterdam. He has published widely in the history and philosophy of early modern science from Newton and Spinoza to Adam Smith, the history of forgotten feminists (especially Sophie de Grouchy), and recent philosophy of economics, especially on the rise and fall of Chicago Economics. In addition to his monograph, Adam Smith: Systematic Philosopher and Public Thinker, he has edited volumes on Sympathy: History of a Concept, Ten Neglected Classics, Newton and Empiricism, The Oxford Handbook of Isaac Newton, and a forthcoming critical edition and translation of Sophie De Grouchy's Letters on Sympathy (all with Oxford University Press). Schliesser is a prolific blogger (at Digressionsnimpressions) and loves California.

Jim MarroneJim Marrone, Ph.D.

November 17, 2017 • 3 p.m.
Wilkinson Hall 116

"Linguistic and Cultural Assimilation as a Human Capital Process"

Abstract: I develop a learning-by-doing theory of cultural assimilation, in which an individual's cultural identity is determined by past investments in culture-specific social capital. The model incorporates several empirically relevant aspects of assimilation that have been difficult to explain in past models. The mechanism in my model yields two possible qualitative outcomes of the assimilation process, depending on the intertemporal complementarities of investment. The first, in which individuals become more homogeneous over time, has been used to explain immigrants' wage assimilation. The second, in which individuals become more heterogeneous as some assimilate and some do not, has vastly different implications for immigration and integration policies. Using detailed datasets from three immigrant destination countries, I provide a variety of evidence from linguistic, identity, and religiosity measures that cultural assimilation (in contrast to economic assimilation) most closely resembles the second type of process.

Bio: Jim Marrone is an economist at RAND Corporation in Washington, DC. He received his PhD in economics from the University of Chicago in 2017. His two research agendas focus on modeling and measuring cultural assimilation, and on measuring the size and scope of the black market for antiquities. In addition, Jim has designed and taught undergraduate courses in time series econometrics (for economics majors) and game theory (for humanities majors). In his free time he does improv and has developed/led a seminar using improv skills to help academics and researchers better communicate their work to non-specialists.