Winner of the 2018/2019 Mark Blaug Prize in Philosophy and Economics


We are pleased to announce that the 2018/2019 Mark Blaug Prize in Philosophy and Economics has been awarded to

Sveinung S. Sivertsen
(University of Bergen)

for his article

On the Practical Impossibility of Being Both Well-Informed and Impartial


The editors of the Erasmus Journal for Philosophy and Economics congratulate the author on his excellent paper and wish him much success in his future work.


Praise from the judges

This article is an interesting critique of Smith’s notion of a spectator who is both impartial and well-informed. Among other things, the author brings in ideas from modern psychology to show that the closeness required for being well-informed is likely to undermine impartiality. Hence this article is not simply about Smith—it makes an important contribution to philosophy more broadly.
—Geoffrey Hodgson

I think this is a great example of how, if carefully considered, cognitive science can usefully inform moral psychology and ethics. Sivertsen’s article is very clear and engaging and shows, as far as I can tell, an excellent grasp of both the relevant Adam Smith scholarship and the literature in cognitive science he makes use of. The argument presented is quite compelling, and in any case a useful addition to the literature.
—Johanna Thoma

About the winner

Sveinung Sivertsen finished his PhD in 2019 at the University of Bergen by defending a dissertation titled “How To Be A Good Sentimentalist”. This work focussed on the moral philosophy of Adam Smith, and in particular on how modern psychological research can cast new light on old problems in Smith’s sentimentalist ethics. Sivertsen is also an editorial assistant at Norsk filosofisk tidsskrift, a leading Norwegian publication for academic philosophy, and he is also the co-founder and chair of Fremtenkt AS, which does interdisciplinary and intersectional work to promote the shift to a sustainable society.

About the Prize

The Mark Blaug Prize is intended to promote and reward the work of young scholars in philosophy and economics. It is named in honour of Professor Mark Blaug (1927–2011), a founder of the field of philosophy and economics whose generosity and commitment to young scholars was recognized by all who knew him. The prize includes a cash sum of 500 Euros.

The 2020/2021 Mark Blaug Prize is now open for submissions

We encourage submissions from young scholars: qualifying submissions will be automatically considered for the next Prize to be awarded in 2022. Click here for details on the prize and how to enter.