/ Séminaire « Capitalismes : histoire, structures sociales, devenir »
31 mars 2017, de 14 à 17h à l’ISH, 14 avenue Berthelot, Lyon 7ème (salle Ennat Léger)
Harro Maas : « Comptabilité morale et comportement rationnel : trois études de cas »
Harro Maas est membre du Centre Walras-Pareto pour l’histoire de la pensée économique et politique à l’Université de Lausanne.
Résumé de l’intervention :
This presentation deals with the management of uncertainty in the private sphere. It does not, however, take uncertainty in terms of probabilities, as is common nowadays, but as an aspect of life that individuals (and families) tried to deal with by strengthening their moral worth to thus enhance their capabilities to stand the Wheels of Fortune and make reasoned (long-term) decisions. I look at three such strategies, which I take from very different contexts. First, I will discuss the so-called Chinese ledgers of merit and demerit that became widely popular under the 16th century Ming dynasty. Second, I will look at diaristic note-taking practices that became widely used in the Victorian period. Third, I will discuss contemporary examples of financial notetaking from the so-called Quantified Self Movement. I use these three cases to build an argument against contemporary ideas in cognitive psychology and behavioral economics that considers individuals as defunct accountants. In contrast, my examples give flesh to Max Weber’s observation that infrastructures of deliberation matter.