Poisoning the Well, or How Economic Theory Damages Moral Imagination
AbstractContemporary mainstream economics has widely “poisoned the well” from which people get their ideas about the relationship between economics and ethics. The image of economic life as inherently characterized by self-interest, utility- and profit-maximization, and mechanical controllability has caused many businesspeople, judges, sociologists, philosophers, policymakers, critics of economics, and the public at large to come to tolerate greed and opportunism, or even to expect or encourage them. This essay raises and discusses a number of counterarguments that might be made to the charge that current dominant professional practice is having negative ethical effects, as well as discussing some examples of the harms inflicted in the areas of law, care work, the environment, and ethics itself.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by GDAE, Tufts University in its series GDAE Working Papers with number 12-07.
Date of creation: Dec 2012
Date of revision:
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Ernst Fehr, 2003.
"Psychological Foundations of Incentives,"
- Ernst Fehr & Armin Falk, 2002. "Psychological Foundations of Incentives," CESifo Working Paper Series 714, CESifo Group Munich.
- Falk, Armin & Fehr, Ernst, 2002. "Psychological Foundations of Incentives," CEPR Discussion Papers 3185, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Ernst Fehr & Armin Falk, . "Psychological Foundations of Incentives," IEW - Working Papers 095, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
- Fehr, Ernst & Falk, Armin, 2002. "Psychological Foundations of Incentives," IZA Discussion Papers 507, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Daniel Kahneman, 2003. "Maps of Bounded Rationality: Psychology for Behavioral Economics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(5), pages 1449-1475, December.
- Jonathan M. Harris, . "10-05 "The Macroeconomics of Development without Throughput Growth"," GDAE Working Papers 10-05, GDAE, Tufts University.
- Tom L. Green, 2012. "Introductory economics textbooks: what do they teach about sustainability?," International Journal of Pluralism and Economics Education, Inderscience Enterprises Ltd, vol. 3(2), pages 189-223.
- Gary S. Becker, 1981. "A Treatise on the Family," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number beck81-1, octubre-d.
- Dasgupta, Partha, 2007. "Economics: A Very Short Introduction," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780192853455, September.
- Joseph Persky, 1995. "The Ethology of Homo Economicus," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(2), pages 221-231, Spring.
- Julie A. Nelson & Steven M. Sheffrin, 1991. "Economic Literacy or Economic Ideology?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 5(3), pages 157-165, Summer.
- Dasgupta, Partha, 2005. "What Do Economists Analyze And Why: Values Or Facts?," Economics and Philosophy, Cambridge University Press, vol. 21(02), pages 221-278, October.
- Mervyn King, 2004. "The Institutions of Monetary Policy," NBER Working Papers 10400, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Nancy Folbre & Julie A. Nelson, 2000. "For Love or Money--Or Both?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(4), pages 123-140, Fall.
- Robert H. Frank & Thomas Gilovich & Dennis T. Regan, 1993. "Does Studying Economics Inhibit Cooperation?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 7(2), pages 159-171, Spring.
- Julie Nelson, 2012.
"Is Dismissing the Precautionary Principle the Manly Thing to Do? Gender and the Economics of Climate Change,"
INET Research Notes
13, Institute for New Economic Thinking (INET).
- Julie A. Nelson, 2012. "Is Dismissing the Precautionary Principle the Manly Thing to Do? Gender and the Economics of Climate Change," GDAE Working Papers 12-04, GDAE, Tufts University.
- Mervyn King, 2004. "The Institutions of Monetary Policy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(2), pages 1-13, May.
- Nelson, Julie A., 2006. "Economics for Humans," University of Chicago Press Economics Books, University of Chicago Press, edition 0, number 9780226572024, April.
- Nelson, J.A., 2013. "Ethics and the economist: What climate change demands of us," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 85(C), pages 145-154.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Erin Coutts).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.