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By Éric Brian

Il est largement admis aujourd’hui que los angeles crise financière amorcée en 2007, et accentuée � l’automne 2008, a révélé une faille dans les systèmes de gestion des risques, une défaillance des concepts de fixation des prix et une démesure des interventions spéculatives. Répondant � ce constat, ce livre suggest une nouvelle approche de l. a. cohérence des marchés – de ce que Adam Smith a appelé los angeles « major invisible ». Il examine les conséquences de cette hypothèse sur los angeles modélisation des phénomènes financiers et le comportement des investisseurs.

Issu d’une vingtaine d’années de recherches en épistémologie des sciences économiques et sociales, l’ouvrage s’adresse aux économistes, aux sociologues et aux mathématiciens. En six chapitres, il présente une esquisse de l’histoire des rapports entre économie et mathématiques du hasard ; une définition du cadre hypothétique retenu pour l’analyse ; un bilan de l. a. viewpoint probabiliste sur los angeles cohérence des marchés ; une critique des conceptions de l. a. valeur fondée sur des cadres désormais dépassés ; une exploration de l’incertitude des marchés financiers ; enfin, un élargissement de los angeles « théorie de l’action rationnelle ». Il s’agit finalement de rendre compte aussi bien des activities de donneurs d’ordres surinformés que de celles d’exclus du monde économique régulier.

Au fil de l’ouvrage, il apparaît clairement que los angeles « major invisible » tremble aléatoirement, et pas toujours l� où on l’imagine. Les associations et les calculs économiques enregistrent et transforment cette incertitude. Les attentes de chacun lui répondent, les plus mesurées comme les plus extravagantes.

Éric Brian, historien des sciences et sociologue, est directeur d’études � l’École des hautes études en sciences sociales (EHESS) et dirige los angeles Revue de synthèse. Il est membre de los angeles course du CNRS.

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Extra info for Comment tremble la main invisible: Incertitude et marches

Sample text

Thus it is these 'two operations of our understanding, intuition and deduction, on which alone . . we must rely in the acquisition ofour knowledge' (HR1,28; AT10,400). Intuition and deduction express the very nature of reason. This means that we cannot say that intuition alone, or deduction alone, is the same as reason. Intuition and deduction together 5 5 5 DESCARTES'S CONCEPT OF REASON 34 express the essence of reason. This point I want to emphasize for, elementary though it is, some commentators have overlooked it.

Although, except for the Umitation of the human mind, aU objects of deduction can become objects of intuition, this does not make deduction identical with intuition. For, first, the objects of deduction that become objects of intuition become objects of intuition only. And, second, the objects of intuition^ the simple ideas and non-derivable propositions, can never be objects of deduction, can never be obtained through deduction. It must be emphasized that intuition comes about only after deduction is an accompUshed fact.

I t involves a causal theory of knowledge which ndes out complete scepticism without having earUer reverted to Cartesian arguments against such scepticism, (ii) An account ofhow these ideas enter the mind through the senses would be part of a discussion which is of no relevance to the methodological issues I want to explore, (iii) Sensory experience provides sentient states. I t wiU be shown that any sentient state is held by Locke to involve complexity, that is, that the form which one's experience initiaUy takes is always charac­ terized by the complexity of ideas experienced as coexisting, (iv) It wiU also be shown that Locke holds that the foundations of general knowledge are general ideas, basicaUy, simple general ideas, (v) I f one asks the methodological question of how one obtains simple general ideas, the answer is in terms of 'abstrac­ tion', 'decomposition', or 'resolution' of the complexity which characterizes the contents of one's sentient states, (vi) And ifone asks the methodological question of how, once one has obtained these simple general ideas one proceeds to construct a body of knowledge, the answer introduces the term 'composition', (vii) I f i t is asked why the complexity ofideas experienced as coexisting —compare item (Ш)—cannot serve as the immediate foundation of knowledge, this introduces a discussion of the nature of reasoning, (viii) Items (iv) and (vi) teU something about the nature of the objects of knowledge, in terms of their simpUcity or RATIONALISM A N D EMPIRICISM 25 irreducibiUty at the foundation of a science and in terms of their complexity within a scientific system, (ix) Items (iii) to (viii) reveal an intimate connection between the epistemological and methodological aspects of Locke's position, (x) I t wiU be seen that these epistemological and methodological aspects can be discussed apart from metaphysical aspects impUcit in items (i) and (ii).

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