Economics Symposium 2024: 13 July 2024

Economics Symposium 2024: 13 July 2024

Regular price £10.00
/

Economics Symposium 2024: The Spirit of Law and Economics 

Online & at Mandeville Place - Saturday 13th July 2024, 9.00am to 4.15pm

The School’s origin lay in a vision of ‘there is such a thing as Truth, and there is such a thing as Justice, and they can be found, and being found can be taught’.

Today the studies and teaching of law and economics with justice are enlivened and guided by a deep sense of spirit uniting us all with all.

The Speakers and topics include:

- The Spirit of the Common Law, Ian Mason 

- Schumacher and his vision of an Economic system that recognises that people have souls, Chris Wood

- The Rise of Methodism and the Abolition of the Transatlantic Slave Trade, Graham Blackbourn

- Natural Law, Economics and the Common Good, Dr Joseph Milne

There will be a Panel Session followed by the chairman’s closing remarks. Throughout the day there will be a substantial opportunity for questions.

Part of This Sacred Land Series

 

The Spirit of Law and Economics

09.15 - Introduction: Richard Glover, Head of Economics   

The School’s origin lay in a vision of ‘there is such a thing as Truth, and there is such a thing as Justice, and they can be found, and being found can be taught’.

Today the studies and teaching of law and economics with justice are enlivened and guided by a deep sense of spirit uniting us all with all.

09.30 - The Spirit of the Common Law: Ian Mason

The common law of England has been described as the common heritage of mankind and has spread to many parts of the globe carrying with it ideals of justice, equity, freedom, and reasonableness as well as practical ways to express, preserve and enhance them. Where did this come from? How was it accomplished and where does it stand now?

Ian Mason is a barrister (non-practising) and former Principal of the School of Philosophy and Economic Science where he has studied and taught philosophy, economics, and law for many years. In 2013 Ian was a panellist at the United Nations Dialogue on Harmony with Nature at UN headquarters in New York. He has written and spoken widely on the ethical dimensions of law, economics and Earth Jurisprudence.

10.30 - break 

11.00 - Schumacher and his vision of an Economic system that recognises that people have souls: Chris Wood

Buckminster Fuller, the American architect and writer who coined the term ‘Spaceship Earth’ said that you never change things by fighting the existing reality.  To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.  If we want a better economic system we can either tinker with the present one or, as suggested, build a new one. 

So, where to begin?  Fritz Schumacher, in his Small is Beautiful, published some 50 years ago, set out an approach that would help inform what that new model could look like.

Chris Wood, a former Chartered Surveyor, laboured through his Economics Degree.  The issue was that the syllabus completely missed the point that it was people we ought to be talking about, not units of consumption and production. Being inspired by Schumacher’s views on Meta-economics when presented with them in 1973, and even more so today, he believes that Schumacher has something useful to say on the subject.

12.00 - Lunch

13.15-  The Rise of Methodism and the Abolition of the Transatlantic Slave Trade: Graham Blackbourn

The last letter ever written by John Wesley, who with his brother Charles founded the Methodist Church, was to William Wilberforce, encouraging him to continue with his campaign to abolish the Atlantic slave trade, calling it an “execrable villainy”. That was in 1791. Methodism had originated earlier that century in the Bristol area, with Wesley preaching in the open air to men and women too poor to attend church, for whom living conditions were little better than slavery. So, it was fitting that Methodists were influential within the movement which led to abolition of the Atlantic trade.

This talk will examine how Wesley spearheaded a spiritual revival through recognising the needs of the time in his own land, not least amongst the poorest of the British people, and how this grew to addressing injustices around the world.

Graham Blackbourn is a student in the Scottish branch of the School of Philosophy and Economic Science. Professionally a geologist, he also has a keen interest in the evolution of Early Greek philosophy, in which he is currently studying for a PhD. More broadly, Graham is drawn to the exploration of changes through time, both in nature and in patterns of thought which affect the rise and fall of civilisations, cultures and other facets of history.

14.15 - Break

14.45 - Natural Law, Economics, and the Common Good: Dr Joseph Milne

According to Natural Law everything has a proper end in harmony with nature as a whole. In a society this means that wealth has a proper end in serving the common good. This talk will explore the implications of this principle in relation to the concepts of ‘property’ and ‘right use’.

Dr Joseph Milne is editor of Land & Liberty, the magazine of the Henry George Foundation. Before retirement he was honorary lecturer in Theology and Religious Studies at the University of Kent. He is a Fellow of the Temenos Academy, Trustee of The Eckhart Society, and Associate Editor of the journal Medieval Mystical Theology. He is currently completing a book: Natural Law and the Just Society.

15.45 - Panel Session

16.15 - Closing remarks: Richard Glover

There will be a substantial opportunity for questions