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AIAS Seminar: Magdalena Malecka, AIAS Fellow

Modern economics and the computer – epistemology of an uneasy relationship

Info about event


Monday 20 February 2023,  at 13:15 - 14:30


AIAS Auditorium and online via Zoom

Speaker: Magdalena Malecka, AIAS Fellow

The seminar is held in-person, but online attendance is possible via:


Modern economics, in particular the dominant neoclassical approach, has been criticized for decades for adopting assumptions in models that are too idealized and too simplified, for the lack of explanatory and predictive power, for providing a framework that serves as an ideological justification of capitalist economy, including capitalism’s extractive practices that contribute to exploitation of labor and the ecological crisis. These critical points challenge modern economics as an epistemically insightful explanatory framework and point out its relationship with power practices.

In my talk I discuss another complex aspect of modern economics, though one that is still largely neglected. Inspired by the scattered yet truly insightful works of some historians of economic thought and economic methodologists, I reflect on the impact that computer technology has had on research in economics after WWII. In my view, understanding the philosophical (epistemological and political) implications of the transformation that modern economics underwent by relying on the computer as a metaphor, heuristic tool, or research method, may enable us to develop a new perspective on economics as a science and its relationship with society.

Short bio

Magdalena Małecka is an Assistant Professor at Aarhus Institute for Advanced Studies at Aarhus University and a Docent at the University of Helsinki. She has undertaken research at i.a. Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, Stanford University, Columbia University, Central European University, European University Institute, University of California, Berkeley. Recently, Magdalena combines insights from the history of economic thought, STS and feminist philosophy of science to develop her philosophical perspective on modern economics. She has delivered academic talks and published in the fields of epistemology and philosophy of science, legal philosophy, philosophy of action, and philosophy of language. Her ongoing research project focuses on the ways in which computer has transformed economics and on philosophical implications of this transformation.  

Read about Magdalena Malecka's project at AIAS here

What is an AIAS Seminar?

The AIAS Seminar is a session of seminars held by the AIAS fellow or by other speakers proposed by the fellows. In each seminar, one fellow will present and discuss his/her current research and research project, closing off with a question and discussion session.

All seminars are held in English.