March 25, 2024

How appeals to action give better accounts of money

Canada Graduate Scholar wants to know what makes something money
Andrew Allison

What is money? Under what conditions does money exist? Why do blue pieces of polymer count as money in Canada? Are digital chequing accounts and cigarettes in prisons money? And, how do we even answer these questions? These questions, in part, make up the research agenda for philosophers studying the ontology of money. To help answer these questions, Andrew Allison’s SSHRC-supported project aims to analyze the relationship between actions – the acts of agents coupled with their reasons for acting – and the instantiation of money. This project began as a way to expand on the work of University of Calgary alumnus Sarah Vooys and Associate Professor of Philosophy David Dick, Andrew’s doctoral supervisor, who argued that money could not be properly individuated from other institutions without an appeal to the mental states of agents; namely, their reasons for acting with regards to the would-be money.