By Brian Griffiths, Robert A. Sirico, Norman Barry & Frank Fields

In 2000 the Institute of Economic Affairs began a series of lecture, endowed by Michael Novak and the John Templeton Foundation, entitled the Templeton Forum on Markets and Morality. The four papers given in the first series, and revised by the authors, are included in this volume:

  • Brian Griffiths considers the business corporation as a moral community, concluding that ‘an independent moral standard is not only something which is good in itself but is also in the interests of shareholders and employees’.
  • Robert A. Sirico argues that the accomplishments of business directly help to advance social prosperity, health and human welfare. The market is a necessary ally for a ‘social order which respects human dignity’.
  • Norman Barry contends that the market system is ‘morally self-sufficient…and develops its own codes of conduct’. Ethical conduct requires companies simply to follow rules and conventions which make for long-run success.
  • Frank Field discusses the provision of a minimum income in retirement which, in his view, cannot be achieved by markets alone. Some compulsion is required, as in his ‘Universal Protected Pension’, which is the ‘only workable scheme to break the link between retirement and poverty’.

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Table of Contents

  1. The business corporation as a moral community (Brian Griffiths) - What is a moral standard in business? / Can a corporation function without a moral standard? / From where can the business corporation derive its moral standard? / How does a moral standard function and how can it be implemented in a pluralistic society? / How significant is the corporation in our society because of its adherence to a moral standard? / Conclusion
  2. The culture of virtue, the culture of the market (Robert A. Sirico) - Introduction / The culture of virtue / The culture of virtue and the social order / The market promotes peace among men / The culture of the market helps us fulfil God’s command / Problems related to markets / Consumerism / Advertising / Conclusion
  3. Ethics, conventions and capitalism (Norman Barry) - The elements of Anglo-American capitalism / The stakeholder temptation / Takeovers / Conclusion
  4. Markets and the provision of a minimum income in retirement (Frank Field) - The Victorian ideal /Damaging ideas / Non-market rule OK? / The pension proposals / Conclusion

About the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA)

According to its website, "The IEA is the UK’s original free-market think-tank, founded in 1955. Our mission is to improve understanding of the fundamental institutions of a free society by analysing and expounding the role of markets in solving economic and social problems. Given the current economic challenges facing Britain and the wider global environment, it is more vital than ever that we promote the intellectual case for a free economy, low taxes, freedom in education, health and welfare and lower levels of regulation. The IEA also challenges people to think about the correct role of institutions, property rights and the rule of law in creating a society that fosters innovation, entrepreneurship and the efficient use of environmental resources."