CAIRN-INT.INFO : International Edition

Expressing uncertainty is not an easy task, and where finance is concerned, experts and the uninitiated alike tend to minimize the unpredictable, unmanageable nature of financial processes and confuse them with more regular, more continuous, less unpredictable random models. This is why, for example, probable events are considered as certainties, random phenomena are seen as a game of tossing the coin, radical uncertainties are made probable and convergent probabilities are taken as convergence pure and simple. These “translating” practices, which in effect serve to de-randomize what is random, keep up two complementary types of fiction: one is that the world is actually less complex than the technical languages of science would have us believe, the other is that these languages are fully translatable, which reinforces the idea of a possible universal language.


  • financialisation
  • random
  • mathematisation
  • de-randomisation
  • universal language
  • financial crisis
  • public sphere
Michèle Leclerc-Olive
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