- 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
Assimilating ethics to the economic way of thinking is a mistake, and I explain an alternative in this chapter. Applying virtue ethics to economics allows us to explain how economic reasoning ought to be related to our own agency. With virtue ethics, we can endorse some market norms for their contribution to general welfare and ethically critique any particular market norm on the basis of ethics. Concepts from virtue ethics can resolve established tensions between ethics and economics. Oikeiosis, or standard moral development, leaves room, in an account of virtue, for empirical discoveries (such as those economists themselves find) concerning our actual motivations. “Due action” is behavior economists can recommend, without expectations of virtue. And finally, the category of “moral indifferents” allows us to regard economics as the study of indifferents: crucial but unmoralized inputs to our collective lives.
Jennifer A. Baker is Professor of Philosophy at the College of Charleston.
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