University of East Anglia experts will investigate whether philosophical musings from the likes of Plato and Aristotle could help economists untangle the world’s financial crisis.

A new public lecture series will investigate the financial meltdown that has overtaken western economies in the last five years. And ask whether philosophy can help economists understand how and why the crisis has unfolded.

Organiser Dr Rupert Read, from UEA’s school of Philosophy, said: “The aim of this series is to discuss whether philosophy could help us find new directions to recover from these dark financial times.  We will look at whether the current situation will be resolved by a return to 'business as usual' – or if a whole new philosophy of economics is on the point of emerging.”

An inter-disciplinary debate on October 11 will see Dr Read discuss the current state of play of the Euro-crisis with economist Prof Shaun Hargreaves Heap, environmental scientist Dr Alex Haxeltine, and business expert Dr Judith Mehta.

On October 25, philosopher Prof Catherine Rowett will investigate whether ancient Greek thinkers such as Plato and Pythagorus could help economists solve the country’s modern-day problems.

Guest speaker Raymond Geuss from Cambridge University will look at the political philosophy underlying the UK’s financial and economic system on November 8. And a debate over ‘rational choice theory’ between economists Prof Hargreaves-Heap and Prof Bob Sugden takes place on November 22.

The series draws to a close on December 6 when Dr Davide Rizza will talk about the philosophy of money.

All lectures are free and take place in Lecture Theatre 2 at 6.30pm. To find out more, email or visit

Athena looking over Plato

Athena looking over Plato (By Sébastien Bertrand)

Image by Sébastien Bertrand from Paris, France (Flickr) [CC-BY-2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

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