Edited by Arthur M. Melzer and Steven J. Kautz

Are Markets Moral?
Editions:Hardcover: $ 50.00
ISBN: 9780812250527
Pages: 256

Despite the remarkable achievements of free markets—their rapid spread around the world and success at generating economic growth—they tend to elicit anxiety. Creative destruction and destabilizing change provoke feelings of powerlessness in the face of circumstances that portend inevitable catastrophe. Thus, from the beginning, capitalism has been particularly stimulative for the growth of critics and doomsayers. While early analysts such as Karl Marx primarily emphasized an impending economic disaster, in recent years the economic critique of capitalism has receded in favor of moral and environmental concerns.

At the heart of this collection of original essays lies the question: does morality demand that we adopt a primarily supportive or critical stance toward capitalism? Some contributors suggest that the foundational principles of the capitalist system may be at odds with the central requirements of morality, while others wonder whether the practical workings of markets slowly erode moral character or hinder the just distribution of goods. Still others consider whether morality itself does not demand the economic freedom constitutive of the capitalist system. The essays in Are Markets Moral? represent a broad array of disciplines, from economics to philosophy to law, and place particular emphasis on the experiences of non-Western countries where the latest chapters in capitalism's history are now being written.


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Table of Contents

  • Introduction (Arthur M. Melzer & Steven J. Kautz)
  1. The Moral Resistance to Capitalism: A Brief Overview (Arthur M. Melzer)

Part I. The Glories and Miseries of the Marketization

  1. Economic Liberties and Human Rights (John Tomasi)
  2. Smart Consequentialism: Kantian Moral Theory and the (Qualified) Defense of Capitalism (Richard A. Epstein)
  3. "Getting and Spending, We Lay Waste Our Powers": On the Expanding Reach of the Market (Steven Lukes)
  4. Five Pillars of Decent and Dynamic Societies (Robert P. George)
  5. Higher Education and American Capitalism Today (Peter Augustine Lawler)

Part II. Non-Western Capitalism

  1. Dharma, Markets, and Indian Capitalism (Gurcharan Das)
  2. The Great Enrichment Came and Comes from Ethics and Rhetoric (Deirdre Nansen McCloskey)
  3. Adam Smith and a New Public Imagination (Fonna Forman)

Part III. Revisiting Locke, Monestquieu, and Smith

  1. Capitalism and the Moral Sentiments (Peter McNamara)
  2. Markets and Morality in the Enlightenment: Neglected Aspects of Montesquieu's Case for Commerce (Andrew S. Bibby)