History of Science tells us that almost all our former knowledge
has been refuted and replaced. What was perceived as evident turned
out to be the latest falsified scientific speculation.
And what today is presented as solution becomes the source of
new problems tomorrow. Scientific progress is only partly a gradual
enlargement of knowledge starting from basic insights to increasingly
sophisticated findings. The main steps in the History of Science
are characterized by changes in “paradigms” (Thomas S. Kuhn).
In the social sciences, economics included, the prevailing “confusion”
and paradigm is not only of theoretical relevance, but a very
vital item with decisive impacts on individuals and societies.
The design of our institutions and our policy patterns are closely
determined not only by necessarily speculative knowledge but also
by ideological influences, normative settings and clusters of
vested interests. All this together forges our “preanalytic visions”
(Joseph A. Schumpeter) and consequently the perception and selection
of problems. The awareness of the speculative rationale in scientific
research is a decisive precondition for the concept of an “open
society” (Karl R. Popper).
The Institute for Advanced Speculative Knowledge (I-ASK)
understands itself as part of a world-wide network that is committed
I-ASK is mainly concerned with issues pertaining to current economic
problems. Research foci of the institute include but are not limited
disentangling scientific logic and ideological biases in economics
to identifying the limits but at the same time the heuristic
necessity of modeling
revealing the self-referential nature of economic processes
understanding the character of emergent properties
Theory and Policy of the Provision of Common Goods
Sustainable Development, Environmental Economics and Policy
Constitutional Political Economy and Institutional Analysis
Macroeconomic Theory and Policy