Emil Dinga
Emil Dinga
Economist, Ph.D., the Romanian Academy, President of the Romanian Society for Economics Philosophy, with expertise in the epistemology, philosophy and logic of economics
On the Nature of the Concept of Tolerance

On the Nature of the Concept of Tolerance

I would like to discuss the following issues related to the concept of tolerance (the concept of intolerance can be derived, relatively un-problematically, from that of tolerance): the nature (source) of the concept of tolerance. More

No. 7-8, Sep.-Dec. 2017 2017


Will We Face an Economic Uncertainty from the Current Political Instability?

Will We Face an Economic Uncertainty from the Current Political Instability?

By a system instability we must not understand a general fluctuations or oscillations of the system in its entirety. The instability of a system is done by only a few number of its components, but they must be crucial for the system identity/personality (the so called hub components). More, not any fluctuations or oscillations should be qualified as being instability, but only these fluctuations or oscillations which either are unpredictable (in their entirety or partially), or pass beyond a threshold usually accepted. This threshold could be viewed either as size, or as duration. So, the instability is, in fact, much lesser than it is usually considered. More

No. 7-8, Sep.-Dec. 2017 2017


On the Law Enactment Trap

On the Law Enactment Trap

A free society is that society in which the general law governs, that is, the law which concerns all the members of society in relation to the norm which that general law establishes. And, on the contrary, society is not free when the private law governs, that is, the law that concerns only a very small number, a minority or, to the limit, an individual or a few individuals. Such a law is also referred to as a privilege (private law). The current effervescence in Romania on amending the laws of justice is an example within reach for philosophers of law, but also for social philosophers or moral philosophers, to reflect on this fundamental aspect of freedom (I refer here to the concept of individual freedom, which is the source of all punctual liberties, which must under no circumstances be confused) in the Romanian society. More

No. 7-8, Sep.-Dec. 2017 2017


A Short Behavioural Analysis of the Changes to the Social Security Tax in Romania

A Short Behavioural Analysis of the Changes to the Social Security Tax in Romania

Starting with January 1st 2018, the payment obligation which is automatically withheld regarding the social security contributions (for state pensions, health, and unemployment insurance) will be moved from the employer to the employee. In order to preserve the nominal net wage, the nominal gross wage was increased by an adequate rate. In fact, a combination of nominal gross wage increases and contribution rate decreases was used to this end. I would like to broach some predictable effects of the mentioned normative measure: a) the monetary illusion effect; b) the nominal income effect; c) the consumption and savings effects; d) the effect of social solidarity erosion; e) the efficient wage effect. More

No. 7-8, Sep.-Dec. 2017 2017


The Market Economy – Between Self-Testability and State Intervention

The Market Economy – Between Self-Testability and State Intervention

In principle, a market economy is understood as that institutional structure of a society which allows the self-regulation of the economic system. It should be noted that the freedom of the market is not sufficient to either ensure or guarantee such a self-regulation. Despite the fundamentalism of the libertarians, there are many cases (not accidentally, but necessarily) when the free market fails to self-regulate. I want to insist on the idea that such a structural incapacity should not be interpreted from a moral point of view, but objectively (in such a perspective, the so-called market failures are well known). I do not discuss here the issue of the free market failures, but a larger issue: could we really speak about an area of social (or economic) activity where the state is “allowed” to normatively intervene and, correlatively, about a “sacred” area of the social (or economic) activity where the state is “not allowed” to normatively intervene?  More

No. 7-8, Sep.-Dec. 2017 2017


The Three Kinds of Money

The Three Kinds of Money

Recent polemics linked to the fate of the so-called “2nd pension pillar” in Romania (the obligatory privately-run pension, as opposed to the optional private one) has brought to mind an older issue regarding the nature – public or private – of money. Since one of the questions raised by the mentioned discussion is just the nature of the money collected by the state and transferred automatically to the preferred obligatory private pension fund, I will underline some considerations in this article. More

No. 7-8, Sep.-Dec. 2017 2017


Politics and Policy

Politics and Policy

In the vernacular language (even, in some cases, the specialized one) some confusions or, at least, some un-intentioned substitutions occur between two terms (and, consequently, between two concepts which belong to them), namely politics and policy. Of course, etymologically the two terms (and concepts) are cognate, based on the Greek term πόλης, polis (castle, home, town, country) but, in the modern and contemporary language and habits of usage, they hold different meanings, and so address different referentials (denotations). Below I would try to identify both the similarities and differences between politics and policy and, consequently, to suggest some precautions in using them in different situations, either cognitive or pragmatic.  More

No. 7-8, Sep.-Dec. 2017 2017


The Professionalization of the Public/Political Decision-Making

The Professionalization of the Public/Political Decision-Making

The professionalization of the public decision-making involves, of course, two distinct semantic aspects: a) turning the politician - the public decision-maker into a professional; b) ensuring the professional character of the public decision-making process.The first requires that the person making public decisions (in general, the politician) become an expert in public decision-making. This is possible and even desirable, but here the term expert must be given a particular meaning. Typically, we call the expert a person who can formulate explanations (based, of course, on theories), that is, they can establish effective causality. In this sense, the politician cannot become an expert, because there would be a contradiction in terms. Therefore, according to the first significance of the professionalization of the public decision, the politician must become a professional not in the theoretical foundation of the public decision, but in the ethical foundation of it. The professional’s expertise in public decision-making will therefore consist in his ability to capture the common (or majority) interest of the community, to translate this interest into a political target and to co-ordinate social action towards achieving this goal (the content of the leadership concept). The “profession" of a politician therefore presupposes a specific competence, namely to build visions, to formulate (in interpersonal language) the objectives associated with those visions, to implement social mechanisms and procedures to achieve the objectives and to ensure the ethics of the distribution of public goods generated by achieving the objectives (i.e. the social justice). As we can see, the professionalism of the politician is not about designing means but designing goals. As goals do not imply an effective causality, but, as has been shown above, a teleological one, it results that the politician, the political decision-maker or the public decider, cannot be both an expert in the instrumental sense of the term. More

No. 7-8, Sep.-Dec. 2017 2017


The European Construction. Intellectual Project vs. Emergence

The European Construction. Intellectual Project vs. Emergence

Society is a component element of Popper’s third world, i.e., of the world formed by objectivizing the content of thoughts (ideas, theories, desirability, etc.), which is achieved mostly by social action. This means that the social “objects” (therefore the economic “objects” too) appear, become and disappear only by social action. One may say that the social ontology is, simply, the effect of the social praxeology, that society is a political product (supra-individual cause and effect). Therefore, the social construction is a teleological construction obtained by completing the universal causes (material, efficient, formal) with the final cause (purpose). Being a teleological construction, the social construction is an intellectual construction (intellectual project), therefore a normative process, not a natural process (as one of the parents of the European construction, Robert Schuman, believed). More

No. 5-6, May.-Aug. 2017 2017


What Should Economics Be?

What Should Economics Be?

The economic phenomenon (like any social one) doesn’t come, doesn’t vanish, and doesn’t happen: it is actually produced by the praxiological action (one of the three human actions, beside the theoretical, and practical, respectively) of the human being, in his/her social hypostasis. In the most proper sense, that which pertains to the economy is a social product, and the economic reality is a social construction, i.e. a social reality. More

No. 1, Sep.-Oct. 2016 2016


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OEconomica No. 1, 2016