Roger Farmer

14 Oct, 4.30 – 6.30pm: N301, Institute of Historical Research, Senate House, London

Two Concepts of Liberty (With an Apology to Isaiah Berlin)

The theme of this lecture is: How can we reunite economics with other social sciences and what might such a reunification achieve?

In his inaugural Lecture at Oxford University in 1958, Isaiah Belin distinguished between positive and negative liberty. Other than similarity in the title, this talk has nothing to do with Berlin’s message. Instead, I will discuss two different concepts of humanity. One is the concept of homoeconomicus; the being who populates our economic models. The other is the concept of feminasociologica; this is the being who is appealed to in John Stuart Mill’s essay “On Liberty” when he makes the case for the free exchange of ideas.

Roger Farmer is a Professor of Economics at the University of Warwick and an Emeritus Distinguished Professor of Economics at UCLA.