Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Tools for modeling society

I intent to become familiar with this software package, Insight Maker. It is a modelling system, and seems to be pretty flexible. It may not be appropriate for my day-job, but it looks like it might be capable of handling the simple social/political models that I have contemplated. I'm thinking of things similar to Gavrilet's model of the Egalitarian Revolution. Basically, I think that it should be possible to evaluate the level of fairness/prosperity that results from different modes of social organization, given certain assumptions about human social behavior. I think that a lot of political debates rest upon unstated assumptions about how humans behave, and that an explicit model will help to clarify these issues.

My suspicion is that statist models of social organization only produce widespread prosperity when humans act within a very narrow range of possible behavioral tendencies. I don't know if professional political philosophers have used this tool much, but either way, I think that this tool would be particularly useful for popular political philosophy, where the audience may not have the patience for obtuse arguments.

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