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Hallo! My name is Petr and I am currently studying towards a PhD in Economic theories at the University of Economics in Prague, Czech Republic. My master degree was in Information management, but my current interests are related to the broad stream of social sciences. Besides studying and teaching, I work as an advisor to members of Czech Parliament. My aim in conducting research in behavioral and evolutionary economics is to enhance the ability of economics to provide sound guidelines for economic policies. I am enthralled by the approaching opportunity to meet you all in Beijing!
Answers to Dave´s Questions
1. I have a solid knowledge in history of economic thought (esp. theories of value, distribution, evolutionary economics and other heterodox approaches), political and moral philosophy.
2. I would like to improve my ability to use various simulation techniques in addressing issues traditionally dealt with by social sciences and humanities (human behavior, cognition, morality, rights).
3. My evolutionary analysis of human behavior (how moral sense and cognition/ideology work?) would greatly benefit from insights developed in evolutionary biology, psychology, neuroscience, anthropology and sociology.
4. I have in mind a simulation on how is a political change possible and surveys exploring properties of the evolved moral sense. I would gladly join any project furthering the use of simulations in social sciences and/or contributing to evolutionary economics and political science.
5. Did anything happened what was totally unexpected 100 years ago? How did you proceed with the theory of everything in physics and with providing complete evolutionary explanation in biology? What sorts of social orders are currently prevailing on Earth?
I am currently writing a dissertation on the evolutionary explanation of the emergence of exclusive property rights on the one hand and of redistributive institutions on the other hand. My aim is to show how it is possible that redistributive institutions emerge and are evolutionary sustainable in both democratic and autocratic societies. I claim that redistribution evolved as an efficiency enhancing complement of exclusive property rights. It is not sufficient to state that redistribution helps to stabilize the society by meliorating discontent caused by violations of norms of distributive justice. It has to be shown that the emotions motivating possible discontent evolved precisely because groups with individuals motivated by such emotions operated with greater success. I proceed with addressing the question whether the efficacy of distributive justice emotions ceased with the advent of the “Great Society” and claim that this is not the case. In order to evaluate what extent of redistribution is justifiable, I discuss different theories of justice and elaborate on the rent-based theory of distribution. Furthermore, I am elaborating on a both-ways relationship and a common evolutionary explanans of emotions (in my analysis particularly emotions related to the sense of justice) and rational cognition. I wish to substantiate my hypotheses about the teleological properties of the evolved moral sense by conducting new surveys involving variations on the trolley problem.
Reasons for being interested in evolutionary economics
This dissertation is a follow up to my master’s thesis on the history of the Economic calculation debate, which made me interested in history and methodology of economics. I came to the conclusion that in order to attain a better understanding and modeling of human action, it is necessary to go beyond the concepts of man dating back to beliefs that human souls are governed by the principle of maximization of pleasure in the same way physical particles are “subordinated to one maximum sum-total of accumulated energy“. I believe that biology is a more fortunate source of analogies for economics than was the force field physics and that a better understanding of man and society, informed by the development of anthropology, psychology, neuroscience, behavioral and cognitive sciences, is needed in order to enable the construction of more robust and reliable economic models.
On the relax side...
I indulge myself in literature (Dostojevskij, Kafka, Eco, Brecht, Camus, Fast, Orwell, Huysmans, Houellebecq), music (classical, alternative, rock, punk, ska) and cinema. Among sports, I prefer cycling, montain touring, skying and canyonig. I enjoy travelling - meeting people from different cultures and exploring places I could hardly imagine before. After the CSSS is over, I am planing to travel around China till 20th August. My flight back to Prague is from Shanghai.