2021: "Responsibility and Cooperation in Times of Uncertainty"

From September 30th to October 1st, 2021, the University of Vienna hosted the First P&E Conference Vienna. Under the title "Responsibility and Cooperation in Times of Uncertainty", we created a platform for students at the intersection of economics and philosophy (especially Master and PhD) to present and discuss their work. In addition, there were two keynote speeches by Johanna Thoma and John Kay as well as a discussion panel. The conference took place in person, but was also broadcasted online.

"Cooperation and Responsibility in Times of Uncertainty"

Our world has always been uncertain but in recent history complexity and interdependence have become its major features. International challenges such as the Covid-19 crisis, climate change, and effects of globalisation raise central questions about cooperation and responsibility and call for an interdisciplinary approach in tackling them. 


Ever since the global financial crisis of 2008 it has become apparent that a purely economic perspective is inadequate to anticipate and meaningfully incorporate the relevant causal mechanisms of the present challenges. Climate change and the consequences of globalisation have come to the forefront of economic, political, and moral debates. One common feature of these complex and uncertain scenarios is that we cannot solve the problems at hand alone. Instead, we have to cooperate as individuals and collectives, despite putatively conflicting interests. Yet, cooperation requires reciprocal trust. How can mutual trust and cooperation prevail in such scenarios, where outcomes are uncertain? Do we have a responsibility to cooperate under such uncertain conditions? And who is responsible for the decisions made through collective action? Do our capabilities and resources have an influence on our obligations? 


Philosophy and Economics (P&E) is dedicated to finding answers to these questions through the interdisciplinary analysis of concepts such as cooperation, uncertainty and responsibility. While philosophy provides analytical frameworks and theoretical concepts crucial for comprehensive engagement with said problems, economics enables researchers to formalize and quantitatively study them. However, it is the association of the two that can yield the most insightful and innovative results.


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