Reviewed by: Cheryl LaGuardia, Research Librarian, Widener Library, Harvard University
Rationality, Markets and Morals: Studies at the Intersection of Philosophy and Economics (RMM) is a journal that looks at a variety of issues from the combined perspectives of economics and philosophy. These can include issues in decision theory, game theory and social choice theory; ethics of the market; business ethics; the methodology of economics; the philosophy of science and the foundations of statistics; political economy and the foundation of social and political institutions; philosophical aspects and applications of behavioral economics; economic approaches to classical philosophical problems such as in ethics or social epistemology; or the theory of instrumental rationality and its limits. Each issue includes peer reviewed original research articles, essays, invited articles, and book reviews, with some discussion articles and comments appearing in some volumes. The journal is based in Europe and published in English, although it is international in scope. The editors invite both popular and scholarly submissions, asking that material be made accessible to a broad reading audience. Material is accessible through either the Latest Entries page (which shows a list of entries in reverse chronological order) or the volume page (which displays all available contributions of the year organized into a research article section, a discussion section, and a book review section, with articles around a special topic added through a special topic menu item).
A quick look through the Latest Entries list revealed that there have been 91 items published in the journal at the time of writing this review in December 2014. They include peer reviewed articles, book reviews, invited articles on such Special Topics as “Coevolving Relationships between Political Science and Economics” and “Statistical Science and Philosophy of Science,” Comments on contributions to the journal, Introductory Notes for special issues, and one recorded Conversation.
Although the editors invite submissions intended for a broad audience, I wouldn’t say that’s what is presented here. Articles are firmly research-oriented and very scholarly; such articles as, “Consent as the Foundation of Political Authority – A Lockean Perspective,” “Achieving Pareto-Optimality: Invisible Hands, Social Contracts, and Rational Deliberation,” and “Negative Goals and Identity: Revisiting Sen's Critique of Homo Economicus” are not likely to be of particular use to a broad audience. However, what’s here will very probably be of interest to scholars researching the philosophy of economics, or the economical aspects of philosophical tropes. For instance, the research article, “You Are Not Worth the Risk: Lawful Discrimination in Hiring” will likely be of interest to researchers in areas of discrimination, ethical hiring and employment, and statistical discrimination.
There is a search facility in the journal (although it is buried in the lower left-hand column on the screen), and using it I was able to locate the Book Reviews and Comments from all the volumes, as well as all occurrences of the phrase, “social contract,” which was helpful. But I notice that 34 of the items here were published in the journal’s first year, 2009, while the most recent volume for 2014 holds only 10 articles, five of which were invited around the Special Topic, “Can the Social Contract Be Signed by an Invisible Hand?” Given the decreasing number of publications and the esoteric manner in which material that is supposed to be accessible to a broad audience is presented here, it’s not clear to me that this is a sustainable – or particularly useful -- journal.