At my dissertation defense: P. Boettke, T. Merrill, E. Matson, D. Klein
I'm Erik Matson. I'm a new Ph.D. in economics, recently graduating from George Mason University. I research the history and philosophy of political economy, specializing in the thought of Adam Smith and David Hume. I'm an adjunct faculty member in economics at Northern Virginia Community College. I teach introductory and intermediate economic theory, along with international economics. I live in Fairfax, VA with my wife Stephanie and our two dogs. Enjoy the site!
Feel free to get in touch if you are interested in my research or teaching! firstname.lastname@example.org
12/6/17: I'll be teaching three courses next semester at Northern Virginia Community College (NVCC), two on the Manassas campus and one on the Loudon campus. At Manassas, I'll teach principles of microeconomics and principles of macroeconomics; at Loudon, I'll teach principles of microeconomics.
11/19/17: I presented my job paper, "Hume's Way of Reasonableness in Epistemology, in Politics, and in Political Economy" at the SEA Annual Conference in Tampa, on a panel for the winners of the SDEA 2017 Don Lavoie Memorial Essay Contest. The paper is also officially up on SSRN.
11/9/17: I successfully defended my dissertation, 'Hume and Smith on Reason, Political Economy, and the Spirit of Philosophy."
10/24/17: My job paper, "Hume's Way of Reasonableness in Epistemology, in Politics, and in Political Economy," has been selected as a winner of the 2017 Don Lavoie Memorial Graduate Student Essay Contest, hosted by the Society for the Development of Austrian Economics. I'll be officially accepting the award and presenting the paper at the Southern Economic Association annual conference in Tampa, FL later in November.
10/20/17: I had fun yesterday giving a lecture at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at GMU. The title of my lecture: "Liberty, Prudence, and the Pragmatic Liberalism of David Hume." The lecture is based on my fourth dissertation chapter (which is also my job market paper). Here are the lecture slides.
09/30/17: I presented my final dissertation chapter, "Hume's Way of Reasonableness in Epistemology, in Politics, and in Political Economy," at the Invisible Hand Seminar at GMU. Here are the presentation slides.
09/26/17: I've just returned from New York University, where I presented my coauthored paper, "Hume and Smith on Utility, Agreeableness, Propriety, and Moral Approval," at a colloquium hosted by the Department of Economics. Here is a link to the paper. Here are the presentation slides.
09/01/17: I'm officially scheduled to defend my dissertation, "Hume and Smith on Reason, Political Economy, and the Spirit of Philosophy," on November 9, 2017.
07/06/17: Just returned from Palermo, Italy, where I took part in an international conference on Adam Smith. I presented a paper I've recently coauthored with Colin Doran and Daniel B. Klein, titled "Hume and Smith on Utility, Agreeableness, Propriety, and Moral Approval."
06/30/17: I participated in the Timbro Institute's third annual "Classical Liberal Summer Seminar." The seminar was held in beautiful Sigtuna, Sweden, at the Sigtuna Foundation. I presented and led a discussion on my paper, "Adam Smith's Humean Attitude About Science; Illustrated by the 'History of Astronomy," which is forthcoming in The Adam Smith Review. Here are the presentation slides.
06/11/17: I just returned from a week at Duke University where I participated in the annual Summer Institute hosted by Center for the History of Political Economy. The week was devoted to preparing students to teach a course in the history of economic thought, led by Professor Bruce Caldwell. A fun and helpful week!
05/05/17: I've been awarded a Humane Studies Fellowship with the Institute for Humane Studies for the 2017-18 academic year, my final year of graduate school.
05/04/17: My article, "The Sympathetic Formation of Reason and the Limits of Science," appeared in the latest issue of Society. The article develops an interpretation of reason from the thought of Hume and Smith and examines implications for our ongoing conversations in social science.
03/10/17: I coauthored a piece with Colin Doran called "The Elevated Imagination: Contemplation and Action in David Hume and Adam Smith." The piece was just published in the latest issue of The Journal of Scottish Philosophy. We develop a textual connection between the famous conclusion to Book I of Hume's Treatise and Smith's famous parable of the poor man's son (where the first published instance of the invisible hand is). We propose a preliminary interpretation of the connection and develop a concept called "the elevated imagination."
Here is me giving a presentation of my 2016 coauthored paper, 'Hume and Smith on Utility, Agreeableness, Propriety, and Moral Approval.' Here is a link to the paper.
Stephanie (my wife) and I with our dogs, Leo and Elsa.