Poisoning the Well, or How Economic Theory Damages Moral Imagination
Contemporary 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.
|Date of creation:||Dec 2012|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: 44 Teele Avenue Medford, MA 02155|
Web page: http://ase.tufts.edu/gdae
More information through EDIRC
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.:
- Fehr, Ernst & Falk, Armin, 2002.
"Psychological foundations of incentives,"
European Economic Review,
Elsevier, vol. 46(4-5), pages 687-724, May.
- Ernst Fehr & Armin Falk, "undated". "Psychological Foundations of Incentives," IEW - Working Papers 095, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
- Ernst Fehr, 2003. "Psychological Foundations of Incentives," Microeconomics 0305010, EconWPA.
- 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.
- Fehr, Ernst & Falk, Armin, 2002. "Psychological Foundations of Incentives," IZA Discussion Papers 507, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Gregory Dees, J. & Cramton, Peter C., 1991. "Shrewd Bargaining on the Moral Frontier: Toward a Theory of Morality In Practice," Business Ethics Quarterly, Cambridge University Press, vol. 1(02), pages 135-167, April.
- Peter Cramton & J. Gregory Dees, 1991. "Shrewd Bargaining on the Moral Frontier: Toward a Theory of Morality in Pratice," Papers of Peter Cramton 91beq, University of Maryland, Department of Economics - Peter Cramton, revised 09 Jun 1998.
- 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.
- Gary S. Becker, 1981. "A Treatise on the Family," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number beck81-1.
- Joseph Persky, 1995. "The Ethology of Homo Economicus," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(2), pages 221-231, Spring.
- 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.
- Dasgupta, Partha, 2007. "Economics: A Very Short Introduction," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780192853455, April.
- Jonathan M. Harris, "undated". "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.
- Julie Nelson & Neva Goodwin, 2009. "Teaching Ecological and Feminist Economics in the Principles Course," Forum for Social Economics, Springer;The Association for Social Economics, vol. 38(2), pages 173-187, July.
- Julie Nelson & Neva Goodwin, 2009. "Teaching Ecological and Feminist Economics in the Principles Course," Forum for Social Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 38(2-3), pages 173-187, January.
- Nelson, J.A., 2013. "Ethics and the economist: What climate change demands of us," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 85(C), pages 145-154.
- 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.
- Daniel Kahneman, 2003. "Maps of Bounded Rationality: Psychology for Behavioral Economics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(5), pages 1449-1475, December.
- 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.
- Mervyn King, 2004. "The Institutions of Monetary Policy," NBER Working Papers 10400, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- 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.
- Nelson, Julie A., 2006. "Economics for Humans," University of Chicago Press Economics Books, University of Chicago Press, edition 0, number 9780226572024.
- Mervyn King, 2004. "The Institutions of Monetary Policy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(2), pages 1-13, May. Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:dae:daepap:12-07. 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: (Erin Coutts)
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.