Arnold Faden

Parents' Photos PS11 Autograph Album

Photo of Arnold Faden from 2019

Current research program

Yellow cards as a tool for thought

June 7, 2021 snapshot of yellow cards

June 6, 2019 video

Works available online


Book: The Economics of Space and Time: The Measure-Theoretic Foundations of Social Science (1977)

Cover of Economics of Space and Time
"It is the thesis of this book that measure theory is the natural language for spatial economics and, indeed, for all social science."


The Pure Theory of Natural Selection: Fisher's Fundamental Theorem and Beyond

March 27, 2006
Iowa State Statistics Departmental Seminar

Listen on SoundCloud MP3

ABSTRACT: People realized soon after the publication of The Origin of Species (1859) that the principle of natural selection had applications far beyond its original scope, to competitive situations of all kinds: competition for wealth, power, office, beliefs among firms, nations, politicians, ideologies, theories, etc.

This suggests that it might be useful to identify the common core underlying these applications, stripping off the particular institutional trappings of each, and leaving the "pure" theory behind.

I take the key idea to be long-term differential growth rates. Prior to my paper of 1991, I take this subject to consist of just one theorem, by R. A. Fisher (1930, 1958), which may be stated as: the rate of change of mean fitness equals the variance of fitness. (For Fisher, "fitness" = growth rate). It turns out that this equation is just one of an infinite system of equations, and that the entire system is needed to answer some questions of interest such as: what distributions over growth rates perpetuate themselves (i.e., belong to the same location family at all different times)? Or, belong to the same scale family? Some results of relevance to "pure" probability theory will also be noted.

Afterwards I shall tentatively indicate how the theory may be modified and extended to make it more realistic by incorporating competition (which limits overall growth), variation, interaction and organization. And I shall try to assess the role of natural selection in a reasonable world view.


An Introduction to Ramsey Theory

September 11, 2005
Iowa State Math Club (Pi Mu Epsilon)

Starting from an article in 1930, Ramsey theory has blossomed into a significant and very pretty branch of combinatorial analysis. My talk will present its basic concepts, theorems, and proofs for both the finite and infinite forms of the subject. The treatment is entirely elementary, requiring (in principle) only an understanding of the meaning of "and", "or", and "set".

Chung Vindicated

March 28, 2004
Iowa State Math Club (Pi Mu Epsilon)

Recording [MP3]

Probability: Foundations and Significance

Iowa State Philosophy Club
December 5, 2003

So there's something which is preventing these ideas, the usage of probability theory for handling uncertainty from going to fruition. And the opposing force, I believe, is complexity costs in general. So what we have here is a force making for people using probability theory, to handle uncertainty, versus complexity, complexity force.

Recording [MP3]

Are There Objective Values?: The Greatest Happiness Principle in Perspective

Iowa State Philosophy Club
Spring 2002

"This is the presentation of a whole new philosophical system -- ethics, ontology, epistemology, politics, the works. Hence I cannot give too many details here, but just the overall vision, with some indications of the grounds for it and some consequences."

Recording [MP3]
Paper [PDF]

The Monty Hall Problem

March 4, 2001
Iowa State Math Club (Pi Mu Epsilon)

Recording [MP3]

Econ department farewell address

March 19, 1997
Iowa State Economics Department

Recording [MP3]

"This talk is really a combination of progress report and a kind of apology for the life I've been leading for the last couple of decades and it has elements of a farewell address to it since I'm officially retiring in May, although I hope to be around in an unofficial capacity for some time longer."

The Future of Economic Theory

April 21, 1992
Iowa State Economics Department

Recording [MP3]

Focus on the Past, Present, & Future of the Communist Economies

May 15, 1991
Iowa State Economics Department

Recording [MP3]

Lecture on Bayesian probability

Listen on SoundCloud

Other homes on the Web


You can use this address both for questions about the site and also to send a message to Arnold Faden. This site is being run for him by his children while he works up to jumping more fully into the Internet age.

Last update: June 9, 2024. Log