Bart J. Wilson is a Professor of Economics and Law and the Donald P. Kennedy Endowed Chair in Economics and Law at Chapman University. He is a member of the Economic Science Institute and tenured in the Argyros School of Business and Economics and the Fowler School of Law. In the Fall of 2016, he co-founded the Smith Institute for Political Economy and Philosophy, for which he serves as the director.

Attending Freedom Center public events as a Visiting Fellow has provided information and inspiration to Wilson. He notes that the interdisciplinary seminars and conversations over coffee with post-docs, graduate students, faculty, and visitors recharge his intellectual batteries, making the quiet time in his office at the Freedom Center some of his most productive. His book manuscript, Meaningful Economics, and part of channeling his surroundings includes using the story of Chef Amanda Cohen, whom Wilson met at a Freedom Center Public Discussion Forum event, as an example of how moral sentiments are a necessary part of understanding the causes of an economic decision.

Wilson continues to earn accolades as a scholar. He was recently given the Distinguished Scholar Award from the Association of Private Enterprise Education

Meaningful Economics Abstract

Economics has a problem. It cannot distinguish the causes of human action from the
consequences of human action. It models representations of optimal agents, not flesh‐and‐blood
human beings in ordinary life. Meaningful Economics is about understanding the principles of
economics—the exchange of goods and services, the specialization that trade makes possible, and the
system of property that undergirds both—in their origins and outcomes rather than exclusively in their
consequences. It explains the roots of conduct, and not merely its economic effects, by going to the
human capacity for moral sentiments that prompt human beings to act. The book is about what makes
meaningfulness the very core of economics. You read that correctly. Meaning and purpose and value
have everything to do with traditional talk of economics.

For more information, contact Kaveh Pourvand.