Download Economics and Ethics: An Introduction to Theory, by Douglas Vickers PDF

By Douglas Vickers

Famous economist Douglas Vickers reexamines the connection among economics and ethical philosophy. That dating, as soon as very powerful, is back the topic of accelerating consciousness and dialogue either inside of and past the academy. Vickers reestablishes the vast bridges among moral philosophy and economics. He addresses 3 major matters: first, the old capability wherein economics has consciously surrendered its unique organization with moral different types and standards; moment, the necessity to articulate the best thoughtforms and vocabulary of moral idea; and 3rd, the representation of parts in economics the place moral information is fascinating and will be allowed to exert impression. This paintings is an enormous research to be able to be of substantial curiosity to economists, the enterprise group, executive regulators, and all focused on monetary decisionmaking in glossy society.

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Extra info for Economics and Ethics: An Introduction to Theory, Institutions, and Policy

Sample text

In whatever senses it may be true that eighteenth-century thought was 'individualistic,' it was not true in the sense that any important writers of the century failed to stress obligations of the individual to his community as a central datum . . of morality" (1972, 59). Viner's suggestion here of the communitarian concern of the eighteenth-century authors anticipates a motif to which we have already referred, that of the tension between individuality and solidarity in ethical criteria. In his critical evaluation of the period under review, Viner is taking issue with Tawney's "prolonged campaign to persuade us that the age of capitalism was marked by a deterioration of the social ethics of the western world as compared with the age of serfdom" (59).

His argument is worthy of fuller inspection in the context of our present study. Economics is neutral as between ends. Economics cannot pronounce on the validity of ultimate judgments of value.... In recent years certain economists, realising this inability of Economics, thus conceived, to provide within itself a series of principles binding upon practice, have urged that the boundaries of the subject should be extended to include normative studies . . [but] economics deals with ascertainable facts; ethics with valuations and obligations.

Of the widening breach, therefore, between economics and ethics there could be no doubt. The idiosyncratic expression of that breach in the attitude of Marshall, as that was explored in Keynes's evaluation of his position, has already been noted. Schumpeter has referred to "the process, as observed in the Cambridge milieu by which Christian belief, gently and without any acerbities, was dropped by the English intelligentsia" during Marshall's lifetime (1954, 772). Hutchison's "Scientific Inquiry" Second, Terence Hutchison has referred, in a not dissimilar but more explicitly methodological fashion, to the achievement of academic economics at Cambridge in the last quarter of the nineteenth century.

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