History of Thought and Philosophy of Social Sciences


Project leaders: Richard Arena and Muriel Dal Pont Legrand  

The research project History of Thought and Philosophy of Social Sciences involves as disciplines Economics, Sociology and Management. Three approaches are used to address the history of these disciplines: Intellectual history, Economic philosophy, Philosophy of social sciences in general and more specifically of sociology and management in particular.

More precisely, this research project analyses the history of contemporary theories and methods in these disciplines, their historical origins, their foundations and the nature of their developments.

Concerning the Economics:

This research project mobilizes skills of history of economic analysis, economic philosophy and economic history, and regularly involves archives investigatons. This work deals with both the history of macroeconomics and microeconomics. Concerning the contemporary history of macroeconomics, this research project focuses on the history of business cycles and growth theories and of the analysis of their interactions. We are also interested in questions raised by the introduction of heterogeneity within macroeconomic models and by the evolution of its treatment. Concerning the history of microeconomics after 1945, the project aims to develop reflections on the historical, methodological and philosophical aspects of the evolution of the concept of economic rationality, at both the individual and collective levels. The idea is to analyse the rationality of agents within recent approaches in economics such as game theory or behavioural economics as well as to broaden the scope of philosophical reflections on these approaches. Finally, transversal research themes simultaneously question the evolution of microeconomic and macroeconomic theories. Here we find a research program concerning the history of (theories of) expectations; the works which are articulated around the theme "institutions, organization and evolution" based on the heritage of the works contributions of Keynes, Sraffa, the Austrian approach, Schumpeter and institutionalist analysis. Finally, mobilizing more contextual aspects, we have a research project that focuses on the Americanization process of economics in France and Europe (FAME Fabricating Modern Economics) or the one that aims to characterize the state of contemporary economic theory in France. Particular attention is paid to the practices of economists or of some specific communities of economists and to the implications of the adoption of certain mathematical tools. A specific attention is also dedicated to the history of complexity approaches and more specifically to the contributions of complexity analysis to the development of (recent) economics.

Concerning management and sociology:

With regard to management, specific research is and will be carried out on the process of the emergence of this discipline from economics, focusing on a comparative approach to the intellectual places that have enabled this transformation. In this context, the example of the transition from the labour economy to the study of permissive conditions of well-being at work is a good example.

As for sociology, the research project will focus on the methods of contemporary sociology, with an emphasis on the examples of economic sociology, market sociology, digital sociology or the attention or knowledge economy.

In addition, this project is and will be carried out in collaboration with MSHS South East. Some join research has already taken place, for example, around the history of Mediterranean economic and social philosophy; others are in preparation or in progress, for example, around liberalism and the philosophy of the Enlightenment.


Project members

Permanent members: Jean Pierre Allegret, Lise Arena, Richard Arena, Claire Baldin, Nicolas Brisset, Muriel Dal-Pont Legrand, Agnès Festré, Jean-Luc Gaffard, Sandye Gloria, Guilhem Lecouteux, Eric Nasica, Ludovic Ragni, Alain Raybaut, Dominique Torre.

Doctoral and post-doctoral fellows: Nicolas Camilotto, Laetitia Ceccaldi,Tom Juille, Romain Plassard, Dorian Jullien.

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