Money: What Is It? How Should It Function?

November 1, 2019 - November 2, 2019
The Centre for Philosophy, Politics and Economics, University of Groningen

Oude Boteringestraat 52

This will be an accessible event, including organized related activities

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  • Financial Ethics Research Group of the University of Gothenburg
  • Department of Financial Economics of the Faculty of Economics and Business
  • Centre for Philosophy, Politics and Economics at the University of Groningen

Main speakers:

University of Iceland
Università degli Studi di Milano
University of Helsinki
Jp Smit
University of Stellenbosch


Brown University
University of Groningen
University of Gothenburg

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Money used to be a simple thing in practice: a set of coins and notes. It was of course more complicated in theory, and scholars throughout history have discussed what it is that makes those coins and notes into money: certain natural properties (that are inherent in gold or silver) or certain social properties (being generally accepted and used or being backed by the state).

While these discussions continue, over the last few decades money has also become more complicated in practice. Besides the old coins and notes, we now have electronic money of various sorts, including a large array of digital currencies such as Bitcoin. This is a good time to take the age-old philosophical discussions to a new and more complex level.

Some of the puzzles that new forms of money raise are:

  • How can money have a virtual existence?
  • Can the institution of money function without state support and if so how?
  • Is it possible to develop a unified theory of commodity, fiat and electronic money?

The ontological issues here often lie close to normative issues and debates. For example,

  • Is there a moral right to choose whatever currency one wants?
  • Will new forms of money eventually violate the public’s trust in stability and justice?

This conference brings together experts on the ontology, economics, ethics and politics of money to develop novel answers to questions such as these.

Deadline: Please submit an abstract before June 15 to [email protected]

Number of words: 1,000. A limited number of submissions will be accepted for presentation.

Full papers are due on October 1, 2019.

The Journal of Social Ontology (JSO) will publish a special issue dedicated to papers presented at this conference.

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Who is attending?

3 people are attending:

Mesbah Khan
Ilan Talmud
and 1 more.

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