Professor emerita of Economy, University of Massachusetts, Boston, USA
Julie A. Nelson is an American feminist economist and professor emeritus of economics at the University of Massachusetts Boston, best known for her application of feminist theory to economics. Nelson is a leading researcher in the field and often regarded as a founder of the discipline. Her research interests include feminist economics, ecological economics, ethics and economics, economic methodology, and the empirical study of individual behavior. She is the author or editor of many books including Economics for Humans (2nd ed. 2018), Beyond Economic Man (1993), and Feminism, Objectivity and Economics (1996). She is also the author of many articles in journals including Economics and Philosophy, History of Political Economy, and Hypatia: Journal of Feminist Philosophy.
Julie A. Nelson will complete our trio of women philosophers on economics. Nelson’s work focuses on the methodology of economics and feminist economic theory and draws attention to the underlying social and cultural mechanisms (aka: values) that shape and influence markets. Nelson argues that we need to be aware of how cultural norms and expectations influence our thinking about the supposedly “amoral” market sphere in order to address issues like climate change.
Economists have, for more than a century, portrayed economics as a physics-like discipline concerned with explaining the underlying mechanics of an amoral market system, presumed to be driven by self-interest and competition. Drawing on feminist work in economics, this talk will examine the binary, hierarchical gender metaphors underlying these claims. It will then explore the damage these biased beliefs have done to the creation of knowledge and to our ability to deal with issues such as climate change, and will suggest alternatives.