Economics as a Moral Science?

I am quickly dashing off the text for lecture for the Campus Peace Institute.  What I have is a bit rough, but I would appreciate any feedback.



4 comments so far

  1. Rich on

    Why not more about how economics defined by institutionalism? Although not typically defined as a moral science, it at least purports to be realistic about what the economy actually is; and through this perspective, has the ability to promote peace by putting the power to change back in the hands of the people. This to me seems to be exactly what Dewey was talking about in “Human nature and conduct”.

    Also, why no mention of Theory of Moral sentiments?

    Hope you are well.

  2. Jim Farmelant on

    Over at Marxmail, I wrote:

    I think I would say more about Smith as
    a moral philosopher. In fact, he was
    chair of moral philosophy at Glasgow.
    His principle work on that subject being
    his *The Theory of Moral Sentiments*.

    Dogan Göçmen, a member of this (Marxmail) list,
    has written *Adam Smith Problem: Reconciling
    Human Nature and Society in the ‘Theory of Moral
    Sentiments’ and ‘Wealth of Nations’* which
    addresses the relations between Smith’s
    work as a moral philosopher and his
    work as a political economist.


  3. The Arthurian on

    Oh I liked it. A biting final line. And it sounds like you have plenty you could add, for those with attention spans longer than mine.

    On page one I think you dropped the first few words of the butcher quote.

    Page 2 line 7 I could not follow “…take into account who tyranny can work…”

    I want to know more about “the imperative for growth,” but I suppose that’s a separate paper.

    I like page 4 the best. It fits with what I think I know, and expends upon it.

    (Okay, now you come check out one of mine.)

  4. political economist on

    sorry, probably too late to help, but here a couple of thoughts:

    1) compare political economics to economics

    a) political economics does not ignore classes in conflict, infact embraces this idea.

    b) it does not pretend that politics has little to do with economics — e.g., in terms of generating wars and ideologies.

    2) slavery is universally condemned today but there was an ideology, closely connected to and a reflection of economic reality, that DID justify slavery during its existence.

    a) there is a close parallel today for most people who must work for others for a living. And, of course, large scale wars of mass destruction would be impossible without this being a condition for a large mass of people.

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