The Physics of Society: Philosophy of Econophysics and Complex Social Systems
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The Physics of Society:
Philosophy of Econophysics and Complex Social Systems
22-23 July, 2016

Idea and Motivation

Econophysics is a new and exciting cross-disciplinary research field involving the applications of techniques from statistical physics and complex systems theory to economic systems. In particular, econophysics models have been successfully applied to recover certain 'stylised facts’ about financial markets and about inequality in income distributions. There are a number of interesting and important methodological questions relating to the foundations of econophysics, and to the treatment of social systems as complex systems in general. For example: Are the idealisations and abstractions used in econophysics models justified in the same way as the analogous idealisations in statistical physics models? What do philosophical accounts of explanation say about the putative explanation of the stylised facts by econophysics models? How are econophysics models relevant to debates about emergence and universality? How should we interpret the presence of power laws in economic data? What is the role of information and entropy in the modelling of economic systems?

This workshop will bring together complex systems scientists, econophysicists, economists, and philosophers of science to explore some of the interesting methodological questions raised by econophysics and related fields.