Institute for Advanced
Speculative Knowledge

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 to

  •            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
I-ASK is mainly concerned with issues pertaining to current economic problems. Research foci of the institute include but are not limited to:
  •            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