RLDG Discussion 15, on the Overview of Rethinking Economics,
2nd March 2022

Home of discussions. Overview of Rethink.

Annotated Transcript

Present: JC, NO, HSS, CA, SK, RG, AB (host)

[AB hosted this discussion recorded it and then transcribed it (19 March 2022), inserting links, notes and comments. When making comments and notes, AB adopted the role of editor separately from contributor, sometimes even criticising AB as contributor, and hence should be treated as a separate personage. Unique labels are attached at end of clauses, for future reference.]

[Recording length: 2.40.00. Long because participants could take part only at various times. Because of length, this is not exact the wording on the audio recording, but tries to capture the meaning. ]


----- INTRODUCTION [zef01]

[The following is a summary of AB's introduction]
# AB: Welcome back after 3 month break since 14th discussion of Mark Carney's 2020 Reith Lectures. During 2021 we developed some ideas to rethink economics (theory and practice) with the help of Dooyeweerd's philosophy and a Christian perspective. Our rethink still needs a lot of work, because it draws together some of the content of fourteen wide-ranging discussions, but probably omits some broad topics that should be included, and is probably naive or shallow in some parts. So, during 2022, we propose to go through it and knock it into shape.
# Today, we discuss the Overview. We are honoured to have a Hindu believer with us, to help gain a wider perspective.

--- Introductions [zef02]

[Each participant introduced themselves briefly; this was not recorded.]

# JC: "Non-debt based identity non-ROI"
# NO: Finance and accounting. CFO for provider side operations. Financial reporting.
# HSS: Jakarta. Emergence. IT deep learning.
# SK: Economic policy analysis. Data.
# CA: [from later] I teach economics and finance at University of Durham, UK. Research: global financial crisis and banking. I have some understanding of economics and finance components. So I should understand what the problem is now! [zef50]
# CA: So I've got something to propose. [continue below] [zef51]


--- Objectives of the Discussion [zef03]

# SK: You say that you aim to get this ready for publication. But what are the practical objectives? [zef52]
# AB: to go through sections of rethink. To knock it into shape. [zef53]
# SK?: For whom? # AB: For Christian thinkers, for Dooyeweerdian thinkers, and for thinking economists. [AB: Actually, later I realised that the way I was thinking, it is mainly aimed at thinking open-minded people interested in economics, first, and the other two secondarily.] [zef54]
# Example: Kate Raworth and Doughnut Economics. [AB gave overview of Doughnut Economics.]

# NO: Others also thinking. e.g. World Economic Forum: a robust site that contains ideas. Another place.
# Chat 00:22:22 NO: https://www.weforum.org/

# HSS: Egbert Schuurman, Technology and society. Balancing.

[Following moved from below]

# SK: Add (c) Need to think in terms of whether influencing or shaping policy, esp. public sector. [zef55] ***

# SK: Many say "We care about environment but ..." [So they downplay environment in attending to that.] We want "and" rather than "but". [zef56] ***

# JC: Goal is to shift the way politicians, universitiess etc. think about economics, to widen thought. [zef57]
# Moving beyond extermalities. "It is good for us to include x, knowing it is positive for environment, overall workforce, etc." [zef58]


# NO: I went through the Overview and some of the longer version. Have questions and some responses. Was it one or other of these?
# AB: The Overview mainly. Because we want to bring in broad topics we have not covered thee and make sure that what we say is (a) accurate, (b) not naive of shallow. [zef59]

[bits from SK, JC moved above]

[RG arrived]
# RG was welcomed by JC,
# RG: introduced himself briefly. Have come to listen and catch up.
# Hoping we can work these ideas into practical suggestions or frameworks that can deliver some good. [zef60]

--- Valuing with Aspects [zef05]

# AB: RG headed a paper on "Valuing the Invaluable", [such as biodiversity, landscape] playing on two meanings of that word, (a) not able to have a price put on it, (b) of immense value. [zef61]

# AB: Dooyeweerd's aspects help us. With Dooyeweerd, we think of the environment as, for instance, the biotic aspect, among and along with all other aspects, e.g. social, juridical (justice), ethical, faith, technological, lingual. Not one or the other, but all must be functioning well together.
# We take an open view, and Dooyeweerd's aspects help us do so.

[AB: Sustainability / real prosperity may be said to be when all work well together, and is jeopardised when we go against the laws of any aspects and/or idolise one aspect above the others.]



[AB gave some explanation mainly administrative.]

# NO: I have comments.
# NO: My perspective, coming from commercial business perspective, not academic.
# Some of my comments might be on the negative side.

--- On Having an Overview [zef07]

# An Overview is very important. Like an executive summary. Lots of people will engage with this. So I like it that there is an Overview. [zef62]
# NO: [Suggestion] As we go through, think about how the Overview is constructed. [zef63] ***

# [Suggestion] Leaving the abstract aside, the Introduction needs to get to point a little quicker, bringing forward the conclusions (in last paragraph), about multi-aspectual embedded economics. etc.
# The Introduction mentions a Christian perspective, but does not say what it brings to the table.

--- What, Why, How [zef08]

# NO: Eternal questions: eternal why, eternal how, eternal what. [zef64] ***
# We (as RLDG) have an idea and understanding of why it is important, and the what benefit etc.
# But the eternal How is a more difficult thing to synthesize, whether Dooyeweerdian or in terms of "what can be done". [Ed. I think he meant: in recent thinkers or even conventional economics.]

# NO: [Suggestion] If we can couch it [The Overview] in terms of the What first: Here's the What. here's the Why and How. THen it rolls into the whole pic of what we are trying to achieve.
# Keep in mind, we are working on those ideas. [zef65]


# AB: What is the What?
# NO: The What is in the last paragraph of the Introduction: the widening of economics. [especially] The fact that we are proposing that policies be developed that go beyond mere financial transactions as measured today.
# [AB: Good. We aim to show how to change all three of theory, practice and policy, all together.] [zef66] ***

# NO: If we incorporate Christian valuess and idea of the world as a gift - that should hopefully drive us to a better world state. [zef67] ***

# AB: This putting the What first, is it for readers or fundamental? # NO: To help engage readers better. Today, attention spans are short. Nobody has a lot of time. You want to get immediate engagement. [zef68]

--- Status of Rethink [zef09]

# HSS: Is this document a compilation of AB's thought or compilation of the [RLDG] discussion?
# AB: Both.
[AB's reply was rather muddled; the following is hopefully clearer. It includes material that AB did not actually say during the discussion, but is added here to give a fuller picture.]

# The Rethink is intended as a systematic, undestandable and workable proposal based on the 'spirit' of the discussions. AB tried to be faithful to the discussions and avoid inserting his own ideas that might be out of kilter with the RLDG discussions. However, the discussions were "all over the place" and covered a very wide variety of topics. So AB tried to work out, at a top level, what kinds of thing the proposal includes. This brought him to the idea of five widenings all contributing to multi-aspectual economics, permeating all the detailed discussions. Part of the devising of the widenings was shaped by having used Dooyeweerd to understand what is going on. It came to him that, at least tacitly, the RLDG wanted to take account of all the recent thinking, not rejecting any a-priori, and integrating them. [zef69]
# However, as AB heard or read things that seemed to fit the pattern, he would insert them provisionally, pending consulting the others. It is such consultation that should occur in 2022. It is expected that the five widenings might be modified in the process, and maybe others brought in that have been overlooked.
# The intention to acknowledge and engage with insights from conventional economics is from AB, but based on (a) Christian idea of love and mercy, (b) idea that each insight is meaningful in some aspect.
# The separation of Christian perspective into Section 7 arose from AB's struggle with how to understand the role of a Christian (or religious) perspective, without succumbing to the Sacred-Secular Divide.

# Here are some of the 'integrations' or characteristics of the Rethink (which have been added after the discussion, based on what seems to have been the case, at least in AB's view: [zef70]


--- Philosophy, Practice and Economics Theory [zef10]

# HSS: This overview seems more philosophical than theoretical economics. Right? [zef71]

# JC: To be direct, the result of this philosophical approach has been [practical, namely] that, we could submit a recommendation to UN about valuing unpaid labour. We had broad philosophical direction, but applied it to practical economics issues. [SNA 2025] [zef72] ***
# A first instance of a tangible solution.
# We have also to apply it to policy. For example, how structures may be overhauled, e.g. the sewerage or transportation systems, taking in a more aspectual lens of different things. [zef73]

[AB: In fact, we have more on philosophy and everyday experience than on economic theory as such, whether recent or conventional. Recent thinkers, mostly, are offering new economics theories and paradigms, or modifications of cnnventional ones. That is all economics theory and we largely free ourselves from the shackles of a theoretical approaches, since they focus on limited aspects. It is philosophy, according to Dooyeweerd at least, that has the role of seeing across all aspects, and Dooyeweerd's philosophy is the best one available so far for doing this. ] [zef74] ***

# NO: If you want to change process, you need to understand what's the end, and what type of principle it should be governed by. Addressking (a) "Here's the better outcome we want." "Here's the reason, principle for that" Then you are in a better position to re-architect some of economics. [zef75]

# NO: Section 2 goes through current thinking, outlining what they say and what they don't. We we get a better, integrated view. [zef76]

# NO: had a couple of comments on the words we used. [Ed. Dealt with below]

--- What, Why, How, continued [zef11]

# AB: Why do you call them "eternal"? # NO: Greeks e.g. Heraclitus, Parmenedies tried to think about Why. gave them some shape on how and what.
# I think the how and what have become the superdrivers [of our lifestyles and economics]. Everyone wants to know "What's in it for me? How am I going to get this?". [zef77]

# Mazzucato's book The Value of Everything is concerned with what's happening to economics. it's all based on price and market; a function on how and what. [zef78]
# AB: so you say "The why has been missing, but put the What first?" # NO: For presentation. [zef79]

# NO: The why has dissolved into 'me'. [zef80] ***

# Me, my family [AB: also 'my' business, group, nation?]: "What do I get?"
# NO: That misreads a proper "Why?", certainly from a Christian standpoint.

[AB: C.S. Lewis put it very well, into the words of the demon, Screwtape (p.92, The Screwtape Letters), "The whole philosophy of Hell rests on recognition of the axiom that one thing is not another thing, and especially that one self is not another self. My good is my good and your good is yours. What one gains another loses. Even an inanimate object is what it is by excluding all other objects from the space it occupies; if it expands, it does so by thrusting other objects aside or by absorbing them. A self does the same. With beasts the absorption takes the form of eating; for us, it means the sucking of will and freedom out of a weaker self into a stronger. 'To be' means 'to be in competition.'" ] [zef81]

# AB: Why use the word "eternal"? [Ed. AB seems to be repeating himself!] # NO: from a Christian standpoint, we believe in an eternal God, pure, active, creative. Thomas philosophy: the supreme Essence, the Pristine. He would encompass everything and would know the how, why, what. [zef82]
# Imago Dei implies that we then have some obligation to think in the whole terms. [zef83] ***

# AB: Any other ideas on Why, What, How? How we can put them over. How they balance? [no answers came]

----- ON WORDING [zef12]

[Ed. What names do we give to the widenings?]

# NO: I really like the 5 widenings. they get to the How question: what we recommend.

--- Embedded Economics [zef13]

# NO: But "embedded"? Maybe "imbued", "infused", "inculcated", "invested" etc. [zef84]
# "embedded" implies entrenched, inserted, 'firmly enclosed'. [zef85]
# But what we want is an economics that's influenced with elements outside. [zef86]
# AB: I rather liked "embedded" because it's more 'comfortable' than two words from systems thinking; "integrated" or "relational". "Embedded" connotes being in a warm bed. But realise that "embedded" us rather rigid. [zef87]
# "Embedded" may be fine, but want another word.
# [Ed. See below for more]

--- Key Statements [zef14]

# NO: "Responsible economics"
# Really love "widening beyond the competitive Rational Economic Actor to responsibility" That states a lot right there. It says something important, getting beyond the Rational Economic Actor [presupposition]. [zef88]
# Several statements are key. [zef89]
# They can be great for marketing. Can be lifted out and exposed a little more. [zef90] ***

--- Responsible Economics [zef15]

# NO: "responsible" is worn out. Everyone speaks of responsibility.

# Maybe, "Heedful economics"? To pay attention, to more than self-centred. Verse Acts 20:28 "take heed for yourselves ... overseers." Be mindful. "Foresighted economics"? [zef91]
# "Chary" "conscientious"? "Prudent economics"? [zef92]

# JC: "Chary economics" might be the most precise language for widening. This is what we are doing. [zef93]
# The Movie Big Short, about the economic crisis. There is a scene in which a person from the rating agency has blinders on during conversation. They didn't want to lose the business to Moody's Rating Agency. They were also incentivized in dollars alone. [from below] The hinge of the whole movie is in that conversation. [zef94]
# We don't want blinders on decisions that are only economic self-interest. [zef95] ***
# So "Chary economics"?
# NO: By the way, they also changed the structure of that rating agency.

# NO: If we called it "Christian economics" we would be cutting out our Hindu friends.

# [AB: "Obligation economics"?] [zef96]
# AB: "Chary" sound like "wary" to me.
# SK: "Chary" = suspicious etc. [from dictionary].
# Might be OK for a non-Christian audience; I'm not sure that non-Christians would understand it.
# HSS: 'chary' uncommon, misunderstood. [Ed. moved from below, at time 55.00]

# SK: Avoid 'Prudential'. Because of the ideology behind political economics, at least in the UK, where "prudence" is the expressed position of the Conservative party. Especially let's reduce spending, to remove restrictions to allow economic growth. Then we build up a nest-egg for later. [zef97]
# NO: agree.

# NO: We need to be broader than just responsible. "Responsible" is too individual. Heedful, aware, thoughtful. An economics that is going to aggregate values in people. [zef98]

# AB: What I had in mind is not just a view, not just aware, but also a response to what we see. So not just heedful. Involves a responsiveness. normative response. [zef99]
# In a way, Multi-aspectual Values and Good / Harm is heedful. [Also embedded]. If we can find a word that is heedful along with a normative response, that would be great.

[AB. What about "Obligation Economics"? Or "Multi-aspectual Obligation Economics" (given my suggestion later that we have the word "multi-aspectual" or so before each)? ]


--- Embedded Economics, continued [zef16]

# AB: If "embedded" is not appropriate, we need another word. What about "situated"? [zefa0]
# [AB: In fact, what about "Heedful", since the whole idea is that the economic aspect should be 'aware' of all the others, doing them justice in its own theories and practice?] [zefa1]
[AB: What about "Engaged economics"?]

[AB: Note: Later I will suggest that we put the word "Multi-aspectual" or similar before each of the names, so as to ensure that they are seen as parts of Multi-aspectual Economics rather than being distinct approaches. ]

# RG: must go soon. Very helpful. Will send email with comments. ACTION RG.
# AB: [before RG goes] Two pieces of news. 1. GvB has authored a report that seeks to establish a new paradigm for economics. It overlaps with outs. # RG: We ought to know more about this. # JC: Would like to read it. # AB: He asked me not to share it; I'll ask GvB if I can share it with those present today. [zefa2] ACTION: AB.
2. The co-founder of Extinction Rebellion has taken an interest in our work, because she recognises that economics needs to be rethought.

# JC: "Applied economics"? Or "Applied xxx economics'. [zefa3]
# To signify, e.g., that economics is more than dollars, but infusing other aspectual indicators. =\

[AB: Comment: That will be important when we discuss Value and its measurement. But there are other things too.] [zefa4]

# JC, HSS, SK: Another project [in addition to SNA2025?] - life can be challenged by children. [zefa5]

[AB: Comment: Rethinking economics needs to take children more into account. Not sure that even our rethink does that.] [zefa6] ***

# JC: Have been trying to apply these ideas to develop a framework, a policy about small unlicensed vehicles, whose drivers disregard road safety and traffic rules, as well as being polluting [Ed. See earlier discussion of this]. Project on how to address the environmental and ethical concerns. So that is an applied, embedded multi-aspectual consieration. So that is a recommendation. [There needs to be] a process for engagement with the vehicle riders. [zefa7]

# AB: "Applied"> But, at least in universities in the UK [and professional organisations] "applied" has the connotation of accepting existing theory and 'applies' it. What we are doing is to question or even challenge existing theory, and 'embed' theory rather than just apply it. [zefa8]
# Examples:

# [AB: That is, take into account how economic functioning affects, and is affected by, other functioning. ] [zefb1]

# SK: if by "embedded" we take other aspects into account, what about "inclusive" and "embracive economics"? [zefb2] ***
# Chat 01:17:25 SK: Embracive?
# Chat 01:17:33 SK: Or maybe spelt embrasive?
# Chat 01:31:19 NO: Embracive - good
# NO: I like "embracive". AB: Does "embracive" sound a bit too much like "abrasive"?
[Ed. "Embracive" in Webster's Dictionary means "1, disposed to embrace; 2. inclusive, comprehensive".]

[AB: What about "Engaged Economics"? Or the Enriching Economy? - not discussed.]

--- Moral Economics [zef17]

# No issues with 'moral' economics. a good word. [zefb3]

[AB: I don't like "Moral economics" for some reason. It feels bland. What we need is a word for seeking to differentiate good from evil.]

[Ed. Actually moved from middle of discussing Responsible economics, around time 48.30.]


----- BREAK [zef18]

[Some had a break. The following conversation occurred during the break]

--- Quantitative Measures? [zef19]

# AB: HSS what have you thought so far?
# HSS: Still processing.
# If we define GDP maybe we can propose a new metric to summarise? [Ed. See proposal above] [zefb4]
# We can use the idea of multidimensional distance. [zefb5] Something more quantitative.
# How to summarise all the multi-aspectual interaction in some metric?

[AB: Proposed Summary Metric: We have previously proposed that this summary metric (call it GDP if you like) might be defined as sokething like:

Sum {i=1..15} ( Gi - Hi )

where i demotes an aspect, Gi = quantised value of good that results from functioning in aspect (i), Hi = quantised value of harm that results from functioning in aspect (i). ] [zefb6] ***

# AB: What is the purpose of having metrics? # HSS: if we have economic growth, we use metric of GDP. We can have a better measure, for example, whether a nation is going towards a good direction. e.g. a country with high GDP but not good social, so its economy might not function well. [zefb7] [Ed. See earlier discussion of the value of measuring. [zefb8]]
# AB: c.f. Gross Happiness Index in Bhutan? # HSS: Yes. [zefb9]


--- How To Make This Of Interest to Reformationals [zef21]

# HSS: We need to think carefully how to incorporate our reformational framework into an index. [zefc0] ***
# AB: Has our conversation so far been of interest from a reformational point of view? Would a reformational person find the conversation interesting? How to write this document for reformationalS; how to make it of interest to reformationals. [zefc1]
# HSS: For a general reformational the context of ???economics can be hard for reformationals to appreciate. So an effort like this needs to have context up front. [Ed. That seems to be about how to structure the overview] [zefc2]
# And how the reformational framework can solve each problem in this current economics. [zefc3]

# HSS: Do we have reformational thinkers in economics? # AB: Bob Goudzwaard. Joost Hengsmengel. Also Adolfo de la Sienra, though sadly he is really just using small bits of Dooyeweerd to justify and support conventional quantitative economics against Goudzwaard. [AB: Add Govert Buijs] [zefc4]

[AB: So why do we need this exercise? We are doing this exercise because those do not cover the whole requirements, and/or are too philosophical, and because we try to take into account of insights from a wide range of recent thinkers explicitly, as well as conventional economics, and also we discuss the role of a Christian / religious perspective in addition to a Dooyeweerdian one. ] [zefc5]


[---- CA arrived ---]
# AB: Welcome, CA.

--- How Multi-aspectual Economy Compares with Conventional [zef22]

# HSS: Is my understanding correct? When we say "Reformational economics, we see economic activity as functioning in all aspects normatively? [zefc6] ***
# AB: Yes. [That is a very good, concise way of putting it!]

# HSS: I think in current economics, we allow [presuppose / encourage] self interest. Society suffers to have efficient price for all.
# Value is [involves] functioning in a specific aspect.
# e.g. teacher preparing next generation to function well in society. we value this activity and give a certain salary for that.
# e.g. under an activity like driver as functioning in a specific modality. e.g. govt functioning in juridical. Then we value this activity.
# Seems that we don't have really have power to / distinguish Neoclassical Economics from reformational [Ed. this paradigm?]. No distinguishing substance.
# NO: neo classical? # HSS: Adam Smith and Keynes. # JC: impact of state actors at a level of debt in the economy as opposed to non state actors. Neo-classical is state actors.

# NO: Mazzucato's "real economics" of capital, services, versus financial and market place economics. Mazzucato is saying, "we're all about market based economics now." [Ed. Implication: it should not be]

# AB: I'm hoping we can define a much better reformational economics.
# [AB: I think HSS means that he thinks that neo-classical economics recognises value of various kinds. Though maybe true in limited ways, some (e.g. Carney especially) would question that. ]

[Ed. Two quotes from googling "neoclassical economics": "Neoclassical economics is a broad theory that focuses on suppy and demand as the driving forces behind the production, pricing and consumption of goods and services." "The basic message of neoclassical economics is that economic efficiency and economic progress are maximised by ensuring that markets work freely and competitively. How is this achieved? By giving individuals as much economic freedom as possible." So, no, no state actors in Neoclassical.

Classical economics: "Classical economics is a broad term that refers to the dominant school of thought for economics in the 18th and 19th centuries. Most consider Scottish economist Adam Smith the progenitor of classical economic theory. However Spanish scholastics and French physiocrats made earlier contributions." "Classical economics refers to the school of thought of econmics that originated in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, especially in Britain. It focused on economic growth and economic freedom, advocating laisse<-faire ideas and belief in free comeptition." ] [zefc7]

--- Some Differences Between Reformational and (Neo)Classical Economics [zef23]

# [AB: I take the liberty of inserting the following here, which was not uttered during the discussion, but emerges from quoting the above. The difference we have now becomes very clear.

Overview of Differences between Reformational and (Neo)Classical Economics:

Notice how neither classical nor neoclassical economics include (a) multi-aspectuality (b) normativity, at least not at the top level as we do here. They are very, very different from "economic activity as functioning in all aspects normatively". They are limited to goods, services, production, prices, consumption, markets, supply, demand, with a single norm of "freedom". That emphasis makes for a very detached, rather than embedded / embracive economics. We make those secondary to multi-aspectuality, normativity, integration and responsibility. Philosophically, part of the difference is twofold: [zefc8]

(However, see below about how we misunderstand Adam Smith.) ]


# AB: [Here, AB asked CA to introduce herself; the introduction has been moved to the start.]

--- The Overall Direction of Rethink [zef24]

# Chat 01:32:56 SK: I do need leave shortly. I am sorry I cannot stay for the full session.

# SK: I have to leave. # AB: do you have anything to say before you go?

# SK: 1. I agree with the five principles. They make a good foundation for both discussion and further action. We can change the terms, but I agree with the principles. [zefd1]

[AB: Good to know. But Why do they? In what ways? Why those? Any others? - these are questions that still need to be answered.
] [zefd2]

# SK: 2. I do not think it is necessary for us to draw distinction between standard economics and these.
# This is because it is widely recognised, the harm that current economic activity is causing, at least in context of environment. There is solid recognition that practices need to change. [zefd3]
# AB: Yes, Dasgupta and SNA 2025 indicate that recognition.

# SK: 3. One thing I might suggest for the Rethink: We need to think about what we do, how to present it and how to estimate economic activity and so on. I think we do need to think about what are the practical actions. [zefd4] ***
[Ed. c.f. NO saying we need the How.]
# SK: NO mentioned the perspective of the business owner, the finacnial director, etc. What is it that they can do? [zefd5]
# Come up with a framework that individual businesses can apply to their activities, services, or even in terms of their own reporting. [zefd6] ***
# For example, is there scope for something like the carbon reporting or environmental impact reporting in financial statements of organisations?
# For example, Modern slavery. UK legislation requires that, if turnover exceeds 36m ($53m) they must report that they have no slavery in their operations or their supply chains. [zefd7]
# But even if such reporting is not imposed by legislation, if there are practical steps or frameworks by which an oganisation can start reporting or recognising this within their own accounting, that two-pronged approach might have far-reaching impact. [zefd8]

[AB: I think the 'two prongs' are (a) legislative requirements, (b) to ways of measuring and reporting which can be adopted. ] [zefd9] ***

# [ACTION AB AND SK: To discuss the creation of such a metric or technique. ]

[AB: Looks like we need two streams of aaction: [zefe0]

] [zefe1]

# AB thanked SK.

# Chat 01:38:31 JC: I need to leave soon. Andrew did you have a question for me? you mentioned something earlier.
[-- JC needed to leave --]

--- More on Wording [zef25]

# NO: I like "embracive".
# However, I wonder about "Reformational"; might it put off our Roman Catholics friends?
# NO: Also, "infused" - Protestants like "infused grace".
# These might be some trigger words.
# [AB: I prefer "Dooyeweerdian" to "Reformational" because the latter includes more than we might use, and also in the Netherlands has a bad name. ]

--- More on Reformational Economics [zef26]

# AB: I liked HSS' description of Reformational / Dooyeweerd economics as: "economics activity is functioning in all aspects normatively". Each part says something important. [zefe2]

# AB: 1. "Economic activity" rather than structures. This [resonates with Dooyeweerd's idea of] functioning in all aspects as the primary being of temporal reality, rather than trying to understand economics in terms of things and types of think. [zefe3]
# NO: I have a problem: I am more interested in structures than i functioning. Points back to the 5 widenings. That definitely has to speak to activity. [zefe4]

[AB: Does this mean that our Rethink needs to discuss types of things or structures as well as functioning? ] [zefe5] ***

# AB: [One major] reason I like [to think in terms of] activity rather than structures: God judges what we do more than on our structural role. Actually, he judges us on our heart attitudes. The meaningfulness is fundamental.
# [second reason] In Dooyeweerd, types of thing are defined by a structure of individuality, which are defined by [profiles of] aspects. # HSS: Individuality structures? # AB: Example: Something is a pen by virtue of its lingual function; it is also a liquid-depositing device by virtue of its physical aspect, which is supported by the kinematic function of flowing. [Actual recording differs.] [zefe6]
# AB: Also, what we call structures are not as rigid as Dooyeweerd assumed. Things tend to do different things.

# Chat 01:45:22 SK: I enjoyed the discussion. Thank you and I wish you good afternoon / evening.
[-- SK left --]

# In HSS's statement, we have three things important: ***

[AB: Sadly, we did not discuss those as much as we did "economic activity". Future discussion. ] [zeff0]

# AB: What that means (for example) is that money should not be understood primarily as an owned commodity. The important thing [meaningfulness] about money is what it enabled us to achieve, in all aspects. [zeff1]
# For example: To build a house, if I have money I can buy tools and bricks, so I can build. The important thing is not that the money is 'mine' but that it enables me to to function.
# I think reformational thinking could help the Rethink.
# In the Rethink we have a section 3.2.3 Rethinking money.


--- Some Example Problems in Economics Today [zef28]

# CA: I have a few things [to contribute].

# CA: 1. In the discussion that we have all the time, a lot is about money, capitalism, what it's doing, and how it is creating problems. That is the finance part. Then I look into the economics problems we have today. [zeff2]
# [Problem 1] Why are there so many rich people who are only 1% at the top, and a lot in the middle and at the bottom? It goes back to accounting, to taxation. Can we then think about, "Why is taxation not used in a way that the flow moves from top to down?"? Why all those stuck at the top, with the bottom getting bigger, while the top is small? Is that something to do with accounting, taxes? [zeff3]
# [Problem 2] What about investment? Now if you have cash in hand, this is a good time to buy companies. Finance and accounting parts: a lot of the focus can be fixed into these; hopefully that will solve economics problems. [Ed. I think CA means that this should be a major focus of the Rethink, but maybe she means that rich people focus on these to stay rich.] [zeff4]
# Why are we chopping down all those trees? It's about money. [zeff5]

[AB: what about attitude? ] [zeff6]

#CA: For example [though experiment]. let's compare two scenarios, with and without politics, and see how they work (this is how we teach in class), so that people can see the bap between the two. How do we now address this gap? # AB: Gap between what? # CA: Between economics with and without politics. [zeff7]
# NO: what do you call politics?
# CA: Example: If tax system taxes rich people more and poorer people less, that is where there is no politics. But where there is politics, the rich people don't pay all the tax they should pay, because they have accountants. [zeff8]
# For example, I have a house and leave it to my kids and grandkids, and its value goes up and up. If I don't sell anything, I don't pay any tax on this increase. How is this accounted for? There's a problem here: the rich get richer but the poor at the bottom are earning and paying taxes. [zeff9]

[Ed. Sounds like "politics" there refers not to government but to what we call politics in an organisation, which are self-centred motives that are often hidden. If so, then again we see the hidden role of attitudes. ] [zefg0]


# AB: [Excursus] In Leviticus 25 is an interesting solution, which is not in accounting but in law. It has been called a "non-socialist means of redistributing wealth." Every 50 years, accumulated wealth (land, houses) is returned to the family that originally owned it. So, while individuals have an opportunity to increase their wealth for a reasonable time, accumulation does not go on forever, as in Britain and maybe the USA. Might this be relevant to the problem of monopolies? [zefg1]


# CA: But now we are trying to understand the taxation and accounting system, and adjust accordingly. [Ed. AB's excursus was about a solution to the problem.] If I am rich and adjust, I will continue to be in that top 1%. The rest of the people are back to square one. [zefg2]

[Ed. I think that the following is what CA was leading up to. It was not primarily about the taxation system or even the rich v poor, as such, but rather examples of where problem lies, viz. not in economics as such but in what people do with it. ] [zefg3]

--- Problem Lies in People, Not in Economics [zef29]

# CA: When you look at classical economics, you can see a lot of value in it. The framework has been structured. You do the interpretation; how you want to adjust it. What you see now is the human action. [zefg4]
# [Let's suppose] I'm going to interpret the framework to my selfish needs. The framework is not [in itself] selfish; it was built for the good of all. [It is I who cause the problems.] [zefg5] ***

# Specialisation. Specialisation is good: we don't have to sew our own clothes, but can go and buy things as they are; that is good. [zefg6]
# We have a lot of good things in economics, but how are they framed according to what we want? That is the problem. [zefg7]

# So, when I am reading [in the Overview] "Economic activity is doing a lot of harm in all areas of life." - No! [zefg8]
# I [CA] myself was part of that conversation, but now I think that it's not the economics that is bad, it's the people who are going to interpret it for what they want, how it will benefit them. [zefg9] ***

[AB: c.f. The Hidden Role of Attitude. ] [zefh0]

# CA: For example, by lobbying, my wealth accumulates. But what about the people who are not rich; they get worn out working [and being taxed].

# AB: That's very helpful. Your message seems to be, "It's not economics that is bad but people who interpret it." Do others find this helpful? It's a standard Christian idea, that the world is not bad, it's us.
# NO: I also did not like that first statement. Came across as too universal.
# Mazzucato is saying. "the economics of today has moved into pricing."
# Adam Smith, Marx, etc. has been based on the real economy. We need to be more precise about the langauge we use. Be more precise about what that issue is, but in such a way that we don't lose the fact that we need to broaden/widen economics. What we consider good and harmful is also part of the new equation. [zefh1] ***

# AB: Can you suggest any better wording in that statement?
# NO: What about, e.g. "the current market intensive economics acivitity..."? Qualify it. [zefh2]

# NO: Mazzucato mentions the Tragedy of the Commons. [zefh3] ***
# HSS: Garret Hardin. Used by Ostrom to win the Nobel Prize in Economics in 2009. *** [look into that]
# Chat 02:05:43 HSS: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elinor_Ostrom

[AB: Discussion: Above, CA argues that it is not economics as such that is doing harm, but how we choose to employ ("interpret", "adjust") it. I agree and disagree. There are, I suggest, three things, not two. [zefh4] ***

Our five widenings to a Multi-aspectual Economics may be seen as ways to help us understand the problems in both structures and individual agency, and suggest ways to address these problems. There are several kinds of structure (and indeed, each qualified by a different aspect). Economic theory also serves as a kind of structure.
] [zefh8]



--- Key Statements in Overview [zef31]

# NO: Some things just jumped out, as key statements that we want to elevate.

# AB: Do you have a list> # NO: will make a list. then AB send it round.
# ACTION NO, AB: Make a list of key statements and send it round. [Ed. This might not be needed if NO rewrites the Overview; see below.][zefh9]
# AB: Is it ok to share emails. HSS, CA, NO said yes.

# NO: [Here are a few key statements]: [zefi0]


# AB: By the way, HSS, you asked whether these were my thoughts or from the discussion. Though most from the discussion, the thing about money as aspectual functioning was probably more my thought, though it at least was alluded to in the discussion. [zefi1]
# HSS: Money is reduction of economic activity. It can stand with all different modality with economic aspect, represented as money. [zefi2]
# AB: Yes, money is a reduction but it's also an integration. It's a brilliant invention. [AB: That is, money can represent value of almost any aspect, even though maybe not very well, in a way that can be used with that of other aspects.]


# NO: "These pages, emerging from discussions after Mark Carney's 2020 Reith Lectures, try to take an integrated view, offer a soundly-based paradigm and offer a perspective that compels action and gives grounds for hope." [Overview] - That's the goal. And that almost has to be the first sentence. [zefi3]

--- Rewriting the Style [zef32]

# NO: Once upon a time, I was part of writers group. read and critiqued ... i was, at that time, trying to write a great novel. Part of what you do to get a novel accepted and published, you send a synopsis out. I tried and tried to write my synopsis but it sucked every time. A friend wrote it for me; it was fantastic. But I was too close to what I was writing about. I kept wanting to write the whole story. A synopsis does not tell the whole story; it gives you / # CA: a snapshot. NO: Yes, snapshot. It's really difficult to write some of this stuff, when you are in the middle of it all. [zefi4] ***

# NO: So I'd be happy to give you a write of the Overview, or part of the Overview, that might be come from somebody who doesn't understand it all. [laughter] [zefi5] ***

# AB: I had been aware of being in the middle of it, and have some things I like. I remember advice, "Kill your darlings." [So I'm very happy to accept your offer.] [zefi6]
# NO; In a poem, often you must take stuff out (and maybe put it in another poem). [zefi7]
# ACTION NO: Rewrite the Overview. [zefi8]

# NO: I thought that the conclusion, 8 in long document, is great Perfect! There's a lot of what you put in conclusion that I would have in an overview. [zefi9] ***
# I come from the business world, where people like an executive summary first. But in the academic world, you go through all the discussion, then have the conclusion at the end. [zefj0]
# What is strong, when you go through [the conclusion], is saying "Instead of Detached economics we need Embedded economics, and this is about xxx." etc. Very crisp. So, use that conclusion at the start. [zefj1]

# NO: There's more things I could pull out, but those are the things I thought I need to mention today.

# NO: Like I said, I'd be happy to take a cut at redoing a bit of that Overview. [zefj2]
# AB: I would like to take up NO's offer. That would be very helpful. [zefj3]
# NO: A rough cut at that in about a week.
# AB: That would be great; yes please. It would put a different pair of eyes, a different brain onto it. That would be great.
# NO: I might put in a couple of questions. And refer back to the longer version.

--- Inconsistencies in the Overview [zef33]

# CA: When I was reading this [the Overview], I was thinking it was more of a conclusion, a big conclusion, than a working paper. [zefj4]

# CA: We need to be very specific about the message we want to send out.
# if we want to say, "We need Moral Economics, Multi-level economics, and all five, we have to be very specific why we need to have it. OK to refer to longer version. But it has to be clear why we are proposing something new. [zefj5]

# CA: [An inconsistency:] We come up with A then we come up with B and then B overwrites A - and back to square one. [zefj6]
# AB: Where? Can you give an example? # CA: I'd have to read it again.
# CA: We have aspects, then we like to have multi-aspectual things come into play. # AB: Are you referring to combining into multi-aspectual at the end? # CA: Yes, how can we prevent bringing in something new then getting rid of something else. We bring A in and then B disasspears. One is positive, one is negative. Or both disappear. [zefj7]
# AB: If you can be specific that would be helpful. Because I'm not very happy about some of it. [zefj8]

[Ed: Not sure to what CA refers here. If it is the putting all five into Multi-aspectual Economics, I did wonder whether each of the five exlipses the overall important one, Multi-aspectual economics. So I was wondering whether to add "Multi-aspectual" before each of the names, e.g. "Multi-aspectual embedded economics". ] [zefj9]



--- Adam Smith [zef35]

# CA: I was trying to embed e.g. Adam Smith etc., and what they have actually said, so they have actually said. So that we can see where we are going wrong. Because what they said was good things. But it was just that it was badly interpreted, so suit the world's needs, and moved in a different direction, because some forces became powerful and then things change. [zefk0] ***
# They only build a framework. They didn't build / the people entangling with that.
# AB: GvB in his report has a section on the 'real' Adam Smith. # NO: Who wrote that? # AB: GvB in his piece for the EU. # HSS: In the Free University [of Amsterdam]. [zefk1]
# [AB: So does Mark Carney in his book, Value(s), 2021, p.27-31.]
# ACTION AB: Ask GvB whether I can allows others to see his report. [zefk2]

# CA: It's good to always go back to the basics of the theory itself, and what the theory actually said, and then interpret it as it is. [zefk3] ***
# And then, if you think you cannot apply that, then it's a time to do the reformation. But what I think actually happened is: what they say is still there, but people started to meddle with it, and it has become what it is. [zefk4]
# We don't have a straight answer.
# We talk about "socialism" then we talk about "capitalism". We don't want the two extremes. [zefk5] ***

# AB: What I came to realise is that conventional economics have some very good insights. In Dooyeweerd, you have [as a starting-point] the whole of reality [in all its diversity and coherence of meaning]. Each field studies its own aspect. The field of economics studies the economic aspect, and gets to know the laws of how economics works "in itself". That's both its strength and its weakness. The strength is that it goes deep, and does not get confused with factors meaningful in other aspects, e.g. personal feeling. The weakness is that it goes into reductionism, externalities, etc. [zefk6]
# And Dooyeweerdian / Reformational economics would somehow recognise the uniqueness of the economics aspect but integrated with all the others. [zefk7]
# CA: Adam Smith did a lot of good things about this and yet recognises there is a need to integrate it with / embrace all the other aspects, to take account of all the others, rather than be reductionist. [zefk8]
# AB: That kind of way of thinking comes out of Dooyeweerd: This idea that each aspect is unique in its own meaningfulness and norms but cannot be separated from all the others. [zefk9]

# CA: So I think there is value in what [the Scottish 'father of economics'] Adam Smith was saying. [zefl0] ***
# He had the same fears that we are having now, about monopolies [c.f. above] such as East India. He was saying "that was bad, and we need to do something about it" but he was not political and [so] moved on. When he was in France, the same thing happened: France wanted to implement top-down taxation, and he realised that was wrong, and he moved out of there. [zefl1]
# He didn't want to be political.

[AB: Might that, in Dooyeweerdian terms, mean that Smith wanted to focus on, and understand, the laws of the economic aspect as such without those of later aspects? "Political" refers to the juridical aspect in its true sense and the pistic aspect in its informal sense. ] [zefl2]

# CA: He was thinking about poor people.

# CA: The thing is that when we [RLDG?] talk, we are just echoing him and what he is saying, but in [the context of] today's world. e.g. about monopolies etc. We need to put things into perspective. The framework [AB: for understanding the economic aspect as such?] is already there.

# My proposition is: Why are we going and looking all around the place, and wondering how we put things in perspective and everything? Why don't we go back to the roots? [zefl3] ***
# CA: The roots is the framework.

# AB: Would CA like to write Adam Smith into all this? [See Action on Adam Smith below.]
[See also More on Adam Smith below.]

--- Frameworks for Understanding Economics [zef36]

[Ed. For the following, I have tried to transcribe the full words (though omitting some repetition), because it seems important.]

# CA: Before, I was asking "What is the framework?" I need to put something in a framework. And you couldn't find a framework. If we don't have a framework, we could be talking about anything, all over the place. [Ed. CA discussed this in 9th Discussion on Findings: Need for a Framework.] [zefl4]
# AB: But we do have a framework. In two ways. One is the five/six widenings. The other is Dooyeweerd's aspects. With a Christian perspective at the end. [zefl5]
# CA: Yes. So now we have a framework now, because we have a framework in Dooyeweerd.

# But we are talking about two things here. We are talking about economics. And what is it in economics that we want to talk about? [zefl6]

# Because, again, it's a lot of things. So, are we going to be selective, pick and choose? [zefl7]
# And what entitles economics? What are the problems we have in the world today that we think that need fixing? [zefl8]

# CA: That there are 1% up there and 99% at the bottom, this is a problem in itself. Why is there 1% up there and the rest of us down here?

# So, are we saying we are going to pick and choose? OK, the framework is Dooyeweerd, so put it in here and see how it works. Is this what we are doing? [zefl9]
# So, like that, there are a lot of papers out there who are doing that. They just pick one scenario and then walk through that scenario. [zefm0]
# But if we looked at the videos that we have gone / Yknow, we talked about. We have talked about everything, we have talked about most of the things. And that is basically what Adam Smith was saying.

[Ed. I think what CA is saying there is that it is good that we talk about lots of things, and that Adam Smith did so too. (Instead of it being bad that we talk about a lot of things.)]

# Now, we said, "Oh, Adam Smith has talked about so many things."
# You know what: Adam Smith talked about economic growth. He talked about GDP. And that is what we were talking about all this time.
# The thing is, yknow, we have talked about a lot of things, and all of them are very important and useful. It's just that, what I am trying to say is we need to put it into a perspective, like a framework, so that everybody understands where we are coming from and what we are talking about, yknow, and how it is grounded.
# - if that makes sense.

# AB: I'll have to think about this; maybe I'm getting tired. Have to listen to the recording and think about what you are saying.

# AB: I wonder if, what we can do, with Dooyeweerd's aspects, we can achieve what Adam Smith wanted. I don't know Adam Smith, but e.g. when he said "What's happening in India, France is bad", and other economists said "Let's ignore the bad", maybe we can offer, through the aspects, a way to really think about the badness of what's going on? Or the goodness? ]
# CA: Because then we are narrowing down the scope to just one aspect of things. [Ed: AB seemed to be talking about multiple aspects. Not sure what CA was referring to by narrowing down to just one aspect. ]

--- Response to CA's Proposal [zef37]

[Ed. The above seems important, and worthy of a thought-out response. So AB makes a response here. It has been added during transcription on 17 March 2022.

1. I think that CA's main message is that we should have taken the 'real' Adam Smith into account - maybe even right from the start. That is a very valid statement, and it is excellent to be stimulated to do so, even at this late stage. That most of us are not expert economists might be a reason why we did not, but it is no excuse. So: We must do so from now on. Maybe even have a session where we discuss Adam Smith? See the ACTION on CA below.

2. CA also mentions two other things, which might be secondary to the above, though linked to it and give it power: our talking about lots of things and our looking for a framework. It seems that CA is implying that, had we take Adam Smith as a framework, we would have not done those things. However, I think there may be reasons why we did, regardless of that.

Why we talked about so many things: 1. We want to be open to all the complexity of reality as it actually is in practice and experience, not squeeze it into the boxes of theory. Especially in the context of today, when e.g. we face climate and other crises that, probably, Adam Smith might never have dreamed of. 2. We want everyone to feel involved and valued so that the insights they have come out, rather than have them closed down by assuming they are not experts. 3. We are Dooyeweerdian thinkers, and we came with multi-aspectual outlook, with its ability to explain lots of things, even things that most are not talking ahout, and especially how to take account of non-economic aspects. To Dooyeweerd, this can be done only by being open to everyday experience, rather than starting from any theory. 4. The distortion of economics into what it has become is multifarious, manifested in a myriad of ways, and each way is worth considering before cutting it down into a theory.

Why we are looking for a new framework, especially Dooyeweerd: 1. We want to be able to bring things in that even Adam Smith might not have thought about, not least the environmental crises. 2. Even if the original framework was good and wholesome, why was it able to be distorted and misused? Can we understand that misuse? 3. How does the Smithian framework work itself out today, especially in a way that leads to practice.

However, even with these, we should have taken account of the 'real' Adam Smith and the wonderful framework he offered. However, this is a process, and it is very good that we have been stimulated to do so.

Might we be able to enrich Adam Smith with Dooyeweerd? At present, CA is rightly emphasising Adam Smith, but can she inform us of both the richness of Smith's thought, and also its limitations?

End of response.]


[Ed. Here, we began to wrap up, but then, at time 2.24.35, we continued discussion. So I have moved the ending of discussion to later


--- More on Adam Smith [zef38]

[See Adam Smith above.]

# NO: I think I understand what CA is saying. Like, earlier, that we need to focus on the good and bad in economics, and there are some frameworks that Adam Smith had, that /
# I'll have to go back to look into his thinking a bit more. I know it was in Marianna Mazzucato's book. She goes through some of that. [zefm1]

# But I do think we are evolving a framework here, with the recommendations and conclusions that we are coming to. [zefm2] ***

# NO: The problem with classical economics (and I'll think about this some more) is that the world has changed. In that we have very complicated and distributed economics systems now, that are very entwined.
# And that is part of our problem, but also something that, in the solution, we have to allow for. So we cannot shoehorn all thinking into this 100% [zefm3] ***

# CA: I think that what I was trying to say, is that there is a lot of values in what they actually said, and see how we can evolve that into today's modern economic world. [zefm4]
# Because, what has been done so far, is all the good things. Because he talked about self-love, mutual respect. All of that has been ignored. Where is that now, today? It's just been ignored. And there's some part of it that's just taken, yknow, and the other good part is just left behind. People are picking and choosing what they want to take and put in. And what they want to take, how it has evolved through to where we are today.

# NO: So, you didn't hear my comments at the beginning, but basically, to me again that goes back to the fact that the "Why?" has dissolved into the "me." [zefm5]

# Adam Smith, in his time and culture, which was a very Christian culture, they had certain ideas of honour, piety and respect / [zefm6] ***
# CA: Oh! He invented the free market economy because he felt that people were getting cheated. So if you are poor, you get cheated in that the price they were charging was more. And, to stop that, he came up with the free market economy. So the ??? would decide what the price would be. [zefm7] ***
# AB: Yeah, I came across this: the free market economy was a cure for cheating. [zefm8]
# NO: Yeah. It was not just of the cheating, but they had the merchantile banks and consortiums like the East India Company, that were dictating everything, because they were a basically an oligarchy. So, yeah, he was very much trying to change that. [zefm9]
# We have the same problem today.

# AB: Can I ask, CA, is it only Adam Smith? Or do we need also to go back to people like Maynard Keynes, and so on?
# CA: Yes, we have to go back to all of them, and see what were they trying to say. Because, like I said, things have changed, not because of error, because of those times / [zefn0]
# In fact I don't see us as more advanced as what things were happening in those days. That is why he is talked about today, because people are trying to understand, how come he is so advanced in those days? And, because he was. [zefn1]
# And the thing is, what has changed is that people are choosing what to take and what to leave behind. And that's why we are in this mess today. [zefn2]
# For example, the global financial crisis, how did that happen? Are you telling me that nobody knew about that? We all knew about it. We all knew it was wrong, that something was going to blow out of proportion, and it did. [zefn3]
# So, what I am trying to say is, we have come to a stage in being in our prosperity that now, wealth is everything, wealth has become like the god, that we have forgotten everything else. [zefn4]

[AB: To explore further: Why has Adam Smith's idea of free-market economy gone so drastically wrong? Why is it that free-market economy has led to so much damage in so many aspects? Many, I believe, are discussing that, but are they doing it partially? For example, many free-marketeers I have heard have just hidden behind the "Oh, what we have is not a real free market." c.f. Carney 2021, p.46. OK, but I'm not interested in the whether question (of: is X the ideal or not?), but in the Why? and How? questions. Part of the answer, of course, is CA's saying above that it is people who distorted it, but in what ways and why and how? She gives two hints, I think, in repeatedly mentioning selfishness earlier, and now treating it as a god. Those are dysfunctions in the ethical and pistic aspects, and those are the two aspects of attitude. But more is involved. I think that we need a multi-aspectual understanding of this. ] [zefn5]

[AB: c.f. SK's research into idolatry. He researched how e-government has been treated as an idol, and has thereby failed and even brought harm. But the source of the idea, Bob Goudzwaard (book: Idols of our Time 1984), suggested that not only is technology an idol but so is economic growth and prosperity. ] [zefn6] ***


# AB: Thank you.

[See also Action on Adam Smith below.]


[Chronologically, this part of the discussion was at time 2.21.50 above.]

--- Does HSS have Anything More To Say? [zef40]

# HSS: Midnight here
# So maybe I can read again the review. Maybe next time I can contribute something.
# But we pursue directon on Dooyeweerdian thinking in economics, better. [zefn7]
# And also, by the way, is this / I mean the next few days there will be another reading group on AI, right? # AB: Yes, on Friday. # HSS: Maybe I join that.
# AB: This one has gone on [two and a half hours]. It was supposed to be 3-4 pm UTC, it's now 5.30. Because CA was required to attend a meeting, and could not come for the start.
# I really appreciate the perseverance of all three of you staying on. Thank you very much. [zefn8]
# I'll look forward to NO's rewrite.

--- Next Meeting [zef41]

# AB: We used to meet about every three weeks, but I think we meet every month. Next meeting at the beginning of April. [zefn9]

# NO: The AI meeting. Anything to prepare? # AB: Yes, listen to the first Reith Lecture of 2021, both questions and answers. And make notes. [zefo0]

[Chronologically, the discussion continued here with More on Adam Smith at time 2.24.35. ]


# AB: Next meeting. Are we happy with this time on a Wednesday?
# NO: Yes.
# AB: 30th March or 6th April?
# NO: Prepere 6th April.

# AB: Yes, let's to 6th April. "The first Wednesday of every month" will be helpful.
# Next time, keep it for one hour.

# AB: [Some explanation to HSS of the email that was sent 24 Feb for both economics and AI.]
# Whoever is coming to the AI discussion in two days' time, I'll see you then.

[-- NO, CA left --]
[ A little discusison with HSS on AI ]

# HSS: BTW: I have a working background on contemporary AI, and I plan to split this paper. The philosophical and theological part probably can be submitted to Philosophia Reformata, and the other to an engineering journal. So I wonder whether we can collaborate together to sharpen the idea. # AB: Yes, absolutely. # HSS: I can send you the paper. # AB: Yes, I would be very interested in that. And maybe others would. One of the AI discussions, you can present your ideas. [zefo1]
# NO: That would be great!

[-- NO left --]

--- Action on Adam Smith [zef42]

[See Adam Smith and More on Adam Smith above.]

# AB: CA, thank you very much. That was very helpful.
# CA: But I was just wondering, do you think /
# I'm trying to put some time aside every week - and I was thinking: Maybe I could go through all the classical and neoclassical economic people, and then come up with what they have said. AB: Yes, that would be great. [zefo2]
# CA: You know what: there is a lot of seminal papers, where people have taken the idea and said, "This idea works. Or this idea doesn't work." Both philosophy and economics. [zefo3]
# So, do you think we should do that, or should we go to the root, the basics and go though like Adam Smith's work well? Go back to his books and read them. [zefo4]
# AB: What do you think?
# CA: The quicker one is the seminal papers - like what people have said is their theory and ... and what was their common that people have said. [zefo5]
# AB: I tend to think that it might be better, then, to go back to the originals. When I was reading Dooyeweerd, [I discovered that] he read the originals of people like Aristotle and he argued that people had misinterpreted them, and he said, "When you read it this way, look at it, he actually meant it this way." And I think that's what we can do with Adam Smith. # CA: Yeah. [zefo6]
# AB: I think it might be better written than many of the seminal papers. There was some reason why these originals took off, and it would be partly because they were well thought-out and well-written. [zefo7]
# Does that make sense? # CA: Yes.
# ACTIONI CA: To read through Adam Smith and relate his thought to ours. [zefo8]

[AB: We did not discuss exactly what this should entail. Pending discussion with CA, I suggest that CA looks at (a) ways in which Adam Smith relates to each widening, (b) how much each aspect is meaningful to Adam Smith. And to do these in both directions, i.e. how AS could enrich and inform our widenings, and how our widenings could enrich and inform AS. ] [zefo9]

# CA: And you know that Adam Smith is from Scotland. # AB: Yes; if that's the case I will really support Adam Smith! ;-)
# CA: He was like explaining he was born opposite Edinburgh. # AB: in Fife.

--- ACTIONS [zef43]

ACTION AB: Ask GvB whether I can allows others to see his report.
ACTION AB with SK: To approach SK about working together to discuss the creation of a metric or technique that organisations can employ.
ACTION AB: To send round the list or Overview that NO sends.

ACTIONI CA: To read through Adam Smith and relate his thought to ours.

ACTION NO: Make a list of key statements. [Maybe not because of rewriting the Overview]
ACTION NO: Rewrite the Overview.

ACTION RG. Send email with comments.

----- REFERENCES [zef44]

Gunton RM, vanAsperen E, Basden A, Bookless D, Araya Y, Hanson DR, Goddard MA, Otieno G, Jones GO. 2017. Beyond ecosystem services: valuing the invaluable. Trends in Ecology and Evolution April 2017, 32 (4), 249-257.