The primary aim of the text is to introduce the reader to the relationship between economics and ethics and to the application of economic ethics in the evaluation of the market. The reader will gain insight into:
- The ethical and methodological strategy of economics and criticism of the core assumptions that underpin the economic defence of free market operation.
- The characteristics of different ethical theories (utilitarianism, duty and rights ethics, justice and virtue ethics) that can be used to evaluate the free market.
- How to apply economics in conjunction with ethical theories to evaluate economic trends and policies that promote the free operation of the market and are subject to public debate.
These insights will help to develop the reasoning and analytical skills needed to criticize economic analysis as well as to apply ethical concepts to moral issues in economic policy.
Table of Contents
1. Introduction 2. The Theory of Perfect Markets 3. Rationality 4. Self-Interest and Social Preferences 5. Status Goods, Non-Satiation and Happiness 6. Economics as an Inexact Science 7. Utilitarianism and Welfare Theory 8. The Ethics of Duties and Rights 9. The Ethics of Justice 10. Virtue Ethics and Care Ethics 11. Overview 12. Towards More Labour Market Participation of Parents? 13. Reforms of the Pension System and Solidarity 14. Cosmetic Surgery, Utility and Freedom 15. More Economic Freedom, Less Collective Rest? 16. Does ICT Foster Well Being? 17. Ethical Questions about Globalization 18. World Poverty and the Duty to Aid 19. Towards an Economics of Enough? 20. Concluding Remarks