Constructing Meaning: Analyzing Economics and Industrial Farming in the context of Capitalism

Read the following two pieces of stimulus material and then respond to the accompanying questions in your TOK online Journal. 

Read the following re: Economics: 

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/oct/11/nobel-prize-economics-not-science-hubris-disaster

Questions: 

  1.  What WOKs do economists use to construct knowledge? 
  2. If their knowledge is unreliable, and they use the above WOKs, does that make those aforementioned WOKs unreliable? Why or Why Not?
  3. Do you agree with the author that economics should not have its own nobel prize? why or why not?
  4. In what way does this piece relate to Capitalism as a whole?

Next, read the following on Industrial Farming:

http://www.theguardian.com/books/2015/sep/25/industrial-farming-one-worst-crimes-history-ethical-question

  1.  Do you agree with the author’s contention that industrial farming is, “One of the Worst Crimes in History”?
  2. What WOKs does the author use to construct evidence for his arguments?
  3. How does the article on industrial farming relate to capitalism as a whole? Elaborate and integrate the concept of externalities.

Behavioral Economics

The Human Sciences Area of Knowledge focuses on the social sciences NOT including history.  Behavioral Economics is an excellent discipline to study within this AOK because it is the marriage between psychology and economics, two previously distinct social sciences.

Read this primer below from Harvard Magazine on Behavioral Economics and then head to the internet to find some interesting studies emanating from the discipline!

http://harvardmagazine.com/2006/03/the-marketplace-of-perce.html

We’ll discuss the following questions related to the study/research/finding you discover:

  1. What prior assumptions did this research refute?
  2. What assumptions are present in the research?
  3. Are any truth claims made?
  4. What is the impact of these findings?
  5. What are the implications beyond the immediate findings?
  6. What Ways of Knowing were utilized in constructing this knowledge?
  7. What are the limitations of the findings?
  8. What are the strengths of the findings?
  9. SO WHAT?!!?! Why does this finding matter to you?

So what does this mean for economics as a discipline? Can we create models that accurately predict economic performance? If no, then what is the most beneficial path forward?  Does this make you favor government regulation more so than previously?