Stefani Ruper will give a talk on The Kind of Knowledge that Eats Other Knowledge: Introducing the Ouroboros Model of Science and Society and Richard A. Werner about Is everything wrong they ever told us about how banking, monetary policy and our economy works?
The Kind of Knowledge that Eats Other Knowledge: Introducing the Ouroboros Model of Science and Society
Popular models of science depict it as a triumphant march from ignorance to enlightenment, but these fail to account for the destructive, deconstructive, and devouring qualities of science. In this brief talk I propose that if we truly wish to understand how scientific knowledge evolves and interacts with other knowledge, we need what I call an Ouroboros model. This Ouroboros model (so named after the snake that eats its own tail) depicts science as a ruthless epistemological force that can devour any and all kinds of knowledge. This is important because humans happen to be deeply attached to the things they know, especially when this knowledge rests on cognitive biases inherited from evolution such as that mind is separate from matter, the afterlife exists, or that morality is linked to a transcendent absolute. When this kind of knowledge loses credibility people are forced to confront an ambiguity that is intensely uncomfortable—uncomfortable enough to cause existential anxiety, a retreat to safe havens, and dogged, sometimes hateful fundamentalism. Science is one cultural force (among many) that churns through cherished knowledge, leaving little but ambiguity and our coping mechanisms in its wake.
This talk is a summary of one of the chapters of my forthcoming book, The Age of Ambiguity.
Stefani is a fourth year DPhil in the Science and Religion cohort of the Religion faculty at Oxford, at which she has written a thesis on the religious qualities of science. She is a twice best-selling author in the field of women's health, and her next book is on ambiguity in the modern world, tentatively titled The Age of Ambiguity. She is also the host of the Meaning of Everything podcast.
Is everything wrong they ever told us about how banking, monetary policy and our economy works?
Richard A. Werner
We have been told over and over that economic growth is stimulated by lower rates, and higher rates will slow growth, so that central bankers use interest rates as their key tool to deliver stable, non-inflationary growth. We have been told that banks are just financial intermediaries and that is why economic models fail to include them. In this seminar, empirical evidence is presented concerning these claims. None holds true. In actual fact, banking, money and the economy function differently from the official narrative. Why scientific research principles have not been applied in economics for much of the past century is an intriguing question that can be expected to trigger lively debate.
Continuing Member Professor Richard A. Werner, D.Phil. (Oxon, Economics) is Professor of Banking and Finance at De Montfort University, Leicester, and at Fudan University, Shanghai. He holds a first degree in economics from the LSE, and has held professorial appointments at the University of Southampton and Goethe University-Frankfurt. He was previously chief economist of Jardine Fleming Securities (Asia) Ltd. and Senior Managing Director of Bear Stearns Asset Management Ltd. He spent 12 years in Japan, including as asset allocator of a multi-billion dollar Japanese corporate pension fund, visiting researcher at the Bank of Japan, Visiting Scholar at the Ministry of Finance and first Shimomura Fellow at the Development Bank of Japan. In 1991, Richard warned of the coming banking crisis and depression in Japan. In 1995 he proposed a new policy to end such crises called ‘Quantitative Easing’. His book ‘Princes of the Yen’, on central banking, was a top bestseller in Japan in 2001. The 2003 English edition warned of the coming credit bubbles, banking crises and recessions in the Eurozone. His 2005 book ‘New Paradigm in Macroeconomics’ (Palgrave Macmillan) presents reality-based economics.