13 November 2004

preference pollution

One of my colleagues at La Salle who teaches in (and is the current chair of) the economics department is a fellow by the name of David George. Over the years I've heard him give several talks, at least one of them co-sponsored by the philosophy department, where he has discussed the nature of human desire, how our preferences function, and how philosophical reflections about the will intersect with the concerns of economists.

I'm not an economist and have no head for mathematics, but I did recently obtain a copy of David's 1991 book Preference Pollution: How Markets Create the Desires We Dislike (University of Michigan Press). I've not had a chance to read it yet (and, honestly, the charts, graphs, and formulae are a bit daunting), but I did notice that philosophical articles (such as Harry Frankfurt on free will) show up in the bibliography, which does stir my interest.