Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE ( © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 04 June 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter offers an account of the contemporary economist's model of human agency in a market setting and of the ways in which individual choices are related to collective behavior in the market place. It also sketches the ways in which the model has been adapted to accommodate decision making in non-market environments. It builds on the model to offer an account of the ethical foundations of modern economics. Although welfare economics is thought to be insensitive to the language of rights, this article shows that contemporary economists have incorporated rights in their ethics. It describes the way ideas of human rights and human goods can be and have been subsumed by economists under an overarching notion of human well-being. Furthermore, it draws a distinction between the “constituents” and “determinants” of well-being. Whereas ethicists are temperamentally drawn to the constituents, economists study the determinants.

Keywords: human agency, non-market environments, modern economics, welfare economics, human rights, human goods

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.