- 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
Markets are often criticized for being amoral, if not immoral. The core of the “political economy” that arose in the eighteenth century, however, envisioned the exchanges that take place in commercial society as neither amoral nor immoral but indeed deeply humane. The claim of the early political economists was that transactions in markets fulfilled two separate but related moral mandates: they lead to increasing prosperity, which addressed their primary “economic” concern of raising the estates of the poor; and they model proper relations among people, which addressed their primary “moral” concern of granting a respect to all, including the least among us. They attempted to capture a vision of human dignity within political-economic institutions that enabled people to improve their stations. Their arguments thus did not bracket out judgments of value: they integrated judgments of value into their foundations and built their political economy on that basis.
James R. Otteson is Thomas W. Smith Presidential Chair in Business Ethics and Professor of Economics at Wake Forest University.
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