The moral ecology of markets: on the failure of the amoral defense of markets
Many economists have defended capitalism; most have tried to do so within the self-imposed methodological constraint that economists should employ only empirical arguments, not normative ones. This essay examines three classic amoral defenses of capitalism—by Milton Friedman, James Buchanan, and Friedrich Hayek—and argues that each fails on its own terms, since each implicitly incorporates moral presumptions essential to the author's argument. Constructively, the essay proposes that no one can adequately endorse (or critique) markets without making a moral evaluation of their context—their “moral ecology.” Four issues are identified as necessarily addressed in every adequate evaluation of markets. The essay does not endorse any one position on these elements, but argues instead that seemingly incommensurable standpoints on markets—ranging from Marxist to libertarian—actually represent positions on the these four basic issues.
If 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.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Volume (Year): 61 (2003)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
|Contact details of provider:|| Web page: http://www.tandfonline.com/RRSE20|
|Order Information:||Web: http://www.tandfonline.com/pricing/journal/RRSE20|
References listed on IDEAS
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.:
- Brennan, Geoffrey & Buchanan, James, 1981. "The normative purpose of economic "science": Rediscovery of an eighteenth century method," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 1(2), pages 155-166, December.
- Robert Prasch & Falguni Sheth, 1999. "The Economics and Ethics of Minimum Wage Legislation," Review of Social Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 57(4), pages 466-487.
- Bruce Caldwell, 1997. "Hayek and Socialism," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 35(4), pages 1856-1890, December.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:taf:rsocec:v:61:y:2003:i:2:p:135-162. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Chris Longhurst)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.