Witten Lectures in Economics and Philosophy


The Witten Lectures in Economics and Philosophy are entrusted annually to a scholar whose work has fundamentally changed the way we think of the economic, political or social order. Witten/Herdecke University inaugurated the Lectures in 2007 with the purpose of fostering philosophical reflection upon and proposing solutions to major economic and political issues. The Witten Lecturer receives an accompanying award of €15.000.

The awardee presents two lectures: a public lecture aimed at making key elements of his or her work accessible to a wide audience, and a more academic lecture in which work from the current research agenda of the awardee is presented. One of these lectures is published in the leading journal of the field Economics and Philosophy.

An international committee consisting of 8 members decides the recipient of the award. The holder of the Chair of Economics and Philosophy at Witten/Herdecke University chairs the committee ex officio. One of the editors of Economics and Philosophy serves ex officio as a member of the committee. All members of the committee have the right to nominate candidates. The aim is to reach unanimous agreement. In the absence of unanimity, the committee members submit a ranking and the awardee is decided by a previously agreed upon voting procedure.

As First Witten Lecturer has served Professor Kenneth Arrow, Nobel Laureate of Economics in 1972; he has held his lectures in October 2007. The Second Witten Lecturer has been Professor Thomas Schelling, Nobel Laureate in Economics in 2005; he has held his lectures in October 2008. The Third Witten Lecturer will be Professor George Akerlof, Nobel Laureate in Economics in 2001; he will present his lectures on November 20 and November 23, 2009. 

Committee members:

Prof. C. Mantzavinos, Witten/Herdecke University, Chairman (ex officio)

Prof. Bertil Tungodden, University of Bergen, editor of Economics and Philosophy (ex officio)

Prof. Hans Albert, University of Mannheim

Prof. Luc Bovens, London School of Economics and Political Science

Prof. Geoffrey Brennan, Australian National University and Duke University

Prof. John Broome, University of Oxford

Prof. Uskali Mäki, Academy of Finland

Prof. Philip Pettit, Princeton University

The Chair of Economics and Philosophy gratefully acknowledges the support of the individuals and institutions that sponsor the Witten Lectures in Economics and Philosophy.