Elise Payzan-Le Nestour

Associate Professor




Room 464, UNSW Business School, UNSW


May 28, 2019: Elise Payzan-Le Nestour 
Topic: Neuroeconomics as “Neuropragmatism”

The purpose of this talk is to explain intuitively the sense in which neuroscience plays an important part in the behavioral sciences nowadays. I will start with a short epistemological description of the scientific process, using the pragmatist framework proposed by Charles Sanders Peirce in his work on the logic of science. According to Peirce, the process of scientific discovery is best described as a 3-stage inquiry. The first stage (“Abduction”) is the process of inventing new theories. Next comes into play the “Deduction” stage, in which testable implications of the theories are extracted, and finally the “Induction” stage, in which these implications are tested with empirical data. I will show through concrete examples drawn from the latest research in neuroeconomics how neuroscience plays a part in modern behavioral science at each of these three stages: to invent new ideas about economic behavior, to make them falsifiable by drawing testable implications, and to test these implications empirically. In the concluding part of the talk, I will discuss how these new ideas have important policy implications inasmuch as they concern the root causes of economic behavior. 

Additional information regarding this event will be updated here as it becomes available.