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Tribute to Philippe Mongin [1950-2020]

It is with great sadness that we announce the decease of Philippe Mongin, who passed away August 5, 2020 after a long illness. He was Director of Research at the CNRS, a professor at HEC, and a former colleague of ours at THEMA where he spent many years (from the beginning of 1996 to the end of 2000). Philippe was a hugely respected and influential researcher in economics and philosophy, with two doctorates, one in each field. In economics, he made important contributions to decision theory, game theory, judgement aggregation, and utilitarian social welfare evaluation under uncertainty. In philosophy, he studied important questions at the foundations of decision theory, such as the significance of the Allais paradox. He was also an exponent of `analytical narratives’ ---the application of game theory to understand historical events. He spent several years at THEMA in the late 1990s and early 2000s, during which time he organized an important seminar series on philosophy and economics together with Marc Fleurbaey, Nicolas Gravel, Serge-Christophe Kolm, Jean-François Laslier, and Alain Trannoy.

Outside of academia, he was also active in the policy world, and participated in the Prime Minister’s Council of Economic Advisers from 2006-2012. He was made Chevalier of the Ordre national du Mérite (1995) and of the Ordre national de la Légion d’Honneur (2003). More recently, he received the Maurice Allais Prize (2019) and Grammaticakis-Neumann Prize from the French Académie des sciences morales et politiques (2019).

On December 2-3, 2019, THEMA participated in the organization of the conference, Colloque sur l’histoire et la philosophie des théories économiques — autour du travail de Philippe Mongin. Another conference, Economic Decisions and Social Preferences — in honour of Philippe Mongin (also supported by THEMA), was due to take place in June 2020, but has been delayed until 2021 because of the pandemic.
You will find here the links to these conference websites :
• (https://sites.google.com/view/hpte/home)
• (https://sites.google.com/view/june2020/home)

Finally, we must remember that Philippe was an open man, of legendary kindness and of great friendliness. He played an important unifying role at THEMA, especially in the social choice group. His passing moved us a lot, but his pioneering work and his qualities will survive him because they play the role of example. Aside from being a brilliant researcher, Philippe was also known for his ironic humour, his culture and vast erudition, and his generosity. He is survived by his wife, the renowned game theorist Françoise Forges (also a former THEMA member).

Below are several obituaries which have appeared in the French press and international journals.
Disparition : Philippe Mongin, un passionné d’économie et de philosophie (Les Echos)
Philippe Mongin, philosophe de l’économie (Le Monde)
Philippe Mongin 1950-2020 (AMSE)
Obituary : Philippe Mongin 1950-2020 (Social Choice and Welfare
Philippe Mongin by Annie L. Cot (University Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne)
Philippe Mongin (1950–2020), by Jean Baccelli and Marcus Pivato, Theory and Decision 90 (#1), pp. 1-9, February 2021