Jul 30, 2015
Herbert Gintis is
Emeritus Professor of Economics at University of Massachusetts and
visiting Professor at Central European University.
He is known for his theoretical contributions to
sociobiology, especially altruism, cooperation, epistemic game
theory and gene-culture co-evolution.
Herbert has a B.A and M.A in Mathematics but
switched his PhD program at Harvard from mathematics to
Professor Gintis was part of a group of economists
who developed their ideas on a new economics which encompassed
issues of alienation of labor, racism, sexism, and
Herbert has worked extensively with economist
Samuel Bowles, writing their landmark book, Schooling in
One of Herbert’s latest books The Bounds
of Reason emphasises the unification of economic theory
with sociobiology and other behavioral sciences which, in the words
of Nobel Prize-winning economist, Vernon L. Smith, “is
firmly in the revolutionary tradition of David Hume (Convention)
and Adam Smith (Sympathy)”.
In the episode you will
- about the importance of
trans-disciplinary research and collaboration.
- why economics is not the only
social science that explains human behavior.
- how biology, economics and
sociology explain the behaviour of humans in different ways and
which discipline is correct?
- about the Ultimatum
Game and how it shows the cooperative and
non-cooperative behaviour of humans.
- about the morality of humans and
how we reciprocate kindness with kindness and unkindness with
- why reciprocity makes humans so
successful as a species.
- why some species have a symbiotic
relationship with other species, which is not the same as
- how we can fit all the human
feelings together to form a multi-disciplinary approach to
understanding human behavior.
- why we always need a system to
punish free-riders and non-cooperators.
- how the future structure of the
University can be seen at Arizona State University
- why we need a new generation of
thinkers and research centres who are
- what projects Professor Herbert
Gintis is working on right now.
- why morality controls politics and
your vote will not make a difference.
- how Herbert gets things done in
terms of writing books and journal articles.
- about Herbert’s disagreement with
Nassim Nicholas Taleb.
- why Herbert believes that
macroeconomics is wrong and is in agreement with Taleb on that
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