The Journal of Markets & Morality is a peer-reviewed academic journal published by the Acton Institute for the Study of Religion & Liberty. It seeks to bring together theologians, philosophers, economists, and other scholars for dialogue concerning the morality of the marketplace. From each issue that is made open access (1 year after publication) we select some articles for you.

This time: Vol 20, No 1 (2017) – full table of contents

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Selection of Articles from this Issue

Editorial: Keynes and Moral Issues - Victor V. Claar & Greg Forster

Abstract

As this special issue of the Journal of Markets & Morality will help illuminate, our need to sort issues into separate “economic” and “cultural” categories is historically abnormal. It is the culmination of developments in economic philosophy—developments whose key turning point is canvassed and evaluated in this issue.

Victor V. Claar and Greg Forster, “Editorial: Keynes and Moral Issues,” Journal of Markets & Morality 20, no. 1 (Spring 2017): 1-5

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The Ethics of Keynes - Hadley T. Mitchell

Abstract

Early in Keynes’s student days at Cambridge University, at the beginning of the twentieth century, he was attracted to the Apostles, a group of free-thinking students, including Bertrand Russell and A. N. Whitehead, together with several literary and artistic figures prominent in the British scene who were enamored with the moral philosophy of G. E. Moore. These intellectuals, under Moore’s influence, questioned all moral authority. Moore’s ethical standard required one to consider all the consequences of any moral act, even into the infinite future. However, by the late 1930s, in his “My Ethical Beliefs,” Keynes would distance himself somewhat from that moral standard. Keynes also rejected any system of natural laws governing economics. Hence, order in any economic system needed to be imposed, for example, by wise policymakers.
Hadley T. Mitchell, “The Ethics of Keynes,” Journal of Markets & Morality 20, no. 1 (Spring 2017): 23-37

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An End to Scarcity? Keynes’s Moral Critique of Capitalism and Its Ambiguous Legacy - Edd Noell

Abstract

Keynes holds out in “Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren” [EPG] the viable prospect of abrogating scarcity. He finds capitalism to be bound by moral shortcomings yet indispensable in achieving the full satisfaction of absolute human needs. This article explores the tensions expressed in Keynes’s critique of capitalism that are integral to his case for an end to scarcity. Keynes finds the “love of money” morally repugnant and anticipates its extinction. He invokes traditional Christian values constraining avarice and usury, yet finds the pursuit of economic gain necessary for a time. EPG offers the prospect of the attainment of higher moral ends with the termination of scarcity and capitalism. Examples of modern interpretations extending the ambiguous legacy of Keynes’s critique of capitalism are considered.
Edd Noell, “An End to Scarcity? Keynes’s Moral Critique of Capitalism and Its Ambiguous Legacy,” Journal of Markets & Morality 20, no. 1 (Spring 2017): 39-53

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The Demoralizing Trap of Keynesianism - Daniel J. Smith & Sean P. Alvarez

Abstract

Classical economists, since the days of Scottish Enlightenment thinkers, held that one of the primary arguments for capitalism, in addition to its superior economic efficiency and its grounding in robust political economy, was its civilizing role. They recognized that commerce channels self-interest into voluntary, mutually beneficial pursuits. The cooperative pursuit of profit thus encourages the development of tolerance, honesty, and manners even among diverse people. Keynesianism, however, can undermine the civilizing role of commerce by promoting widespread government control and direction of the economy. Because big government undermines the market and fosters cronyism, commercial virtues are dampened, and they are often replaced with dishonesty, distrust, and intolerance.
Daniel J. Smith and Sean P. Alvarez, “The Demoralizing Trap of Keynesianism,” Journal of Markets & Morality 20, no. 1 (Spring 2017): 55-68

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Keynes on Judgment, Moral Science, and the Civilization of the Few - Ross B. Emmett

Abstract

In his 1924 Ball Lecture at Oxford, Maynard Keynes announced that, finally, the end of laissez-faire was close at hand: “For more than a hundred years our philosophers ruled us because, by a miracle, they nearly all agreed or seemed to agree on this one thing [i.e., laissez-faire]. We do not dance even yet to a new tune. But a change is in the air.” The General Theory was still more than a decade away; indeed, A Tract on Monetary Reform and its extended version, A Treatise on Money, had seemed to confirm Keynes’s place in the laissez-faireoriented Cambridge tradition. Yet Keynes was already prepared to turn away from the classical tradition of Smith, Mill, Marshall, and Pigou and champion the end of laissez-faire.
Ross B. Emmett, “Keynes on Judgment, Moral Science, and the Civilization of the Few,” Journal of Markets & Morality 20, no. 1 (Spring 2017): 69-78

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Series "Journal of Markets & Morality":

The Journal of Markets & Morality is a peer-reviewed academic journal published by the Acton Institute for the Study of Religion & Liberty. It seeks to bring together theologians, philosophers, economists, and other scholars for dialogue concerning the morality of the marketplace. From each issue that is made open access (1 year after publication) we select some articles for you.


Articles in this series:
  1. Journal of Markets & Morality (vol.18, no.2)
  2. Journal of Markets & Morality (vol. 19, no. 1)
  3. Journal of Markets & Morality (vol. 19, no. 2)
  4. Journal of Markets & Morality (vol. 20, no. 1)