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Jack Wright

PhD student

College: King's

Supervisors: Anna Alexandrova, Ha Joon Chang

Thesis topic: Contextualism and pluralism in economics

My Ph.D work examines how the ideas of pluralism and contextualism apply to economic methodology, and what this might mean for how economic expertise can and should be structured. In the thesis I add to the debates on objectivity, pluralism, contextualism, epistocracy, and the authority of expertise in the philosophy of science and political philosophy and relate them to recent calls for pluralism in economics.

I have also written on the distribution of positional goods, the epistemic status of economic modelling, the use of evidence-based and data driven forms of reasoning in policy making, and the politics of online encyclopaedias. Some of this, as well as parts of my thesis, will be published in 2018, please for preprints.

Research interests: general philosophy of science; political philosophy; philosophy of social science; political epistemology; philosophy of economics; ethics and politics of science; values in science; history of economics; political economy.


2018. “Rescuing Objectivity: A Contextualist Proposal.” Philosophy of the Social Sciences

Recent blogs and popular articles

"Do we have confidence in our economic institutions?", Rebuilding Macroeconomics (24th November 2017)

"How a critic of economics became the discipline’s Nobel-winning best friend", The Guardian (25th October 2017) [with Tiago Mata]

Selected talks

‘If objectivity is plural how should it be used in economics?’ to the European Network for the Philosophy of Social Sciences (ENPOSS) annual conference, Krakow, September 2017.

‘Imagining Empirical Policy: The Technocratic Empiricism of the Obama Administration’ to the Science and Democracy Network annual meeting, London, June 2016.

‘Is mathematical modelling inherently unsuitable to social science?’ to the International Network for Economic Methodology (INEM) annual conference, Cape Town, November 2015.

‘Nonstandard Analysis and an Application to Combinatorial Number Theory’ to Toronto Set Theory Seminar, Toronto, August 2013.

Selected other projects

I am co-founder and convenor of the CRASSH and Institute for New Economic Thinking Young Scholars Initiative funded project The Politics of Economics. I have previously organised Paper 0


I am currently supervising the philosophy of economics parts of Economics Part IIA (2nd year) Paper 8: History and Philosophy of Economics and HPS Part II (third year) Paper 6: Ethics and Politics of Science, Technology and Medicine.

I have previously taught: political philosophy (2nd year), history of philosophy of science (3rd year), history and philosophy of technology (3rd year), metaphysics and epistemology of science (3rd year), and mathematics for business and economics (1st year). I have also tutored mathematics, physics, biology, chemistry, history, philosophy, and economics at masters, bachelors, A level and GCSE levels.


I have an MPhil in History and Philosophy of Science (Cambridge, 2014), an MSc in Mathematics (Toronto, 2013), a Graduate Diploma in Economics (LSE (External), 2012), and an MA in Mathematics and Philosophy (Edinburgh, 2010). During my undergraduate degree I also spend a year at UC Berkeley (2008-09) studying Mathematics and Philosophy.


Other websites: I am currently funded by the AHRC (my AHRC page is here), and I am also currently a convenor at CRASSH (my CRASSH group's page is here).