Theorizing Risk & Uncertainty in Social Enquiry: Exploring the Contributions of Frank Knight

41 Pages Posted: 15 Jul 2008

See all articles by D. S. L. Jarvis

D. S. L. Jarvis

National University of Singapore (NUS)

Date Written: July 15, 2008

Abstract

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

Suggested Citation

Jarvis, Darryl Stuart, Theorizing Risk & Uncertainty in Social Enquiry: Exploring the Contributions of Frank Knight (July 15, 2008). Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy Research Paper No. LKYSPP08-001, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1160075 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1160075

Darryl Stuart Jarvis (Contact Author)

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