- List of Figures
- List of Tables
- Notes on Contributors
- Adam Smith and the Study of Ethics in a Commercial Society
- Virtue and Economics, Horse and Cart
- With All Due Respect: A Kantian Approach to Economics
- Ethical Pluralism in Economics
- Economic Ethics and the Capability Approach
- Evolution and Moral Motivation in Economics
- Morality as a Complex Adaptive System: Rethinking Hayek’s Social Ethics
- On the Evolution of Ethics, Rationality, and Economic Behavior
- Human Ethicality: Evidence and Insights from Behavioral Economics
- Ethics <i>and</i> Economics: A Complex Systems Approach
- Economics and Ethics within the Austrian School of Economics
- Feminist Economics and Ethics
- Economy and Culture: The Importance of Sense-Making
- Humane Markets: The Classical Tradition of Political Economy
- Capitalism and Democracy: Allies, Rivals, or Strangers?
- The Moral Status of Profit
- The Ethics of Money and Finance
- Ethics <i>and, in</i>, and <i>for</i> Labor Markets
- Cost-Benefit Analysis and Social Welfare Functions
- The Normative Economics of Social Risk
- The Ethics of Making Risky Decisions for Others
- The Tragedy of Economics: On the Nature of Economic Harm and the Responsibilities of Economists
- Economics, Ethics, and Health Insurance
- Deontological Morality and Economic Analysis of Law
- The Ethics and Economics of Ecological Justice
- Civil Rights, Employment, and Race
- Lessons from Economics
Abstract and Keywords
Adam Smith argued that humans were motivated by both self-interest and moral concerns. Economics has since moved towards a contrasting utilitarian view where behavior is understood in terms of unifying preference functions. Also most economists have presumed that these preferences are “self-regarding.” Two major treatises in economics were published in 1871, with self-seeking economic man at their center. In the same year Darwin published The Descent of Man, which emphasized sympathy and cooperation as well as self-interest, and argued that morality has evolved in humans by natural selection. This stance is supported by modern research. This article reconciles Darwin’s view that developed morality requires language and deliberation (and is thus unique to humans), with his other claim that moral feelings have a long-evolved and biologically inherited basis. It also questions whether the recent addition of “other-regarding” preferences is adequate, and whether morality and altruism are reducible to preferences or utility maximization.
Geoffrey M. Hodgson is Professor in Management at Loughborough University London.
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