Theorizing Risk & Uncertainty in Social Enquiry: Exploring the Contributions of Frank Knight
41 Pages Posted: 15 Jul 2008
Date Written: July 15, 2008
The problem of risk and uncertainty continues to plague social scientific enquiry, ostensibly imposing epistemological limits to knowledge. This paper explores this issue in relation to the writings and theoretical contributions of Frank Knight, one of the most illustrious economic thinkers of the twentieth century. Knight's contributions essentially constructed a means for assessing and measuring risk in various facets of social activity, seeding insights which remain pertinent to this day. As the paper notes, however, despite Knight's insights and the tri-partite methodological schema he constructed for probability analysis, remarkably few social sciences have mined his work. Ironically, much that we need to know to more effectively theorize and accommodate the conundrums of risk and uncertainty into social scientific methods Knight long ago bequeathed us.
Keywords: Frank Knight, Risk, Uncertainty, Probability, Risk Theory
JEL Classification: A12, B29, B30, B31, D81
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