Professor Luc Bovens

I came to LSE in 2003 and took on the role of Coordinator of the MSc in
Philosophy and Public Policy. Since 2009 I have also been Head of the Department
of Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method.

The Philosophy community in LSE is much broader than the Department. There
is the Forum for European Philosophy which provides a fantastic public events
programme, the Centre for Philosophy of Natural and Social Science which host
a vibrant programme of visiting researchers, and there are many philosophers in
cognate departments. We think of this community of philosophers in the School
as Philosophy@LSE.

What we all share is an interest in a type of philosophy that is anything but ivory
tower. We try to get involved in the actual practice of the (social) sciences and
policy making and our work is of a very interdisciplinary nature. We are building
on a long tradition at LSE in this respect. The legacy of Karl Popper and Imre
Lakatos is familiar, but this tradition goes back much further. Lionel Robbins reports
that as a first year Economics student he was sitting a course, Logic and Scientific
Method, in 1920. This course was taught by Abraham Wolf, an eminent historian
and methodologist of science. I try to continue this old tradition by providing
a module on causation in the social sciences in the school-wide LSE100 course.

My own research is on the intersection of philosophy of science, philosophy of
economics, rationality, ethics and public policy. I published Bayesian Epistemology
(with Stephan Hartmann) in 2003. Much of my time nowadays is devoted to
departmental logistics and thesis supervision. When I do find time for research,
I work on policy oriented topics such as the politics of climate change, the EU
asylum system, voting power, the ethics of Nudge, and Prioritarianism within the
context of risky prospects. Finally, puzzles of rational choice and topics in moral
psychology continue to intrigue me. It is a pleasure to be part of the LSE community
and of what we call Philosophy@LSE.

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Professor of Philosophy