Edited by Michael R. Strain and Stan Veuger
Is economic liberty necessary for individuals to lead truly flourishing lives? Whether your immediate answer is yes or no, this question is deceptively simple. What do we mean by liberty? What constitutes the flourishing life? How are these related? How is economic liberty related to other goods that affect human flourishing?
To answer these questions — and more — Economic Freedom and Human Flourishing brings to bear some of history’s greatest thinkers, interpreted by some of today’s leading scholars of their thought. How might Aristotle have understood the relationship between economic liberty and human flourishing? Hobbes and Locke, Mill, Rousseau, Burke, Adam Smith, Kant, de Tocqueville, and Marx?
So much of the policy and political debates around issues of economic liberty are often cast in somewhat narrow terms. What is the precise magnitude of this elasticity? Is a certain policy popular among key constituencies? Of course, economic and political analysis have a vital role to play in shaping and understanding public policy. But it is helpful — and refreshing — from time to time to step back and examine the foundation. Economic Freedom and Human Flourishing endeavors to do exactly that.
About the Editors
Michael R. Strain is director of economic policy studies and a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), a public policy think tank. Stan Veuger is a resident scholar at AEI and the editor of AEI Economic Perspectives.
"Due to its brevity as well as to the clarity of the individual contributions, this volume is an excellent introduction to the complex relationship between economics and political philosophy. [...] All but one of the contributors favors the perspective of political philosophy. [...] Susan Meld Shell’s chapter on Immanuel Kant is the longest of the book and unfortunately the least accessible. [...] The book’s final chapter on Karl Marx, authored by its sole economist, Deirdre Nansen McCloskey, is very different in style and substance. It is a delightfully cheeky takedown of Marxist critiques of capitalism."
Forum with Four of the Contributing Authors
Table of Contents of Economic Freedom and Human Flourishing
- Aristotle on Economics and the Flourishing Life (Harvey C. Mansfield)
- Hobbes, Locke, and the Problems of Political Economy (Peter B. Josephson)
- Rousseau on Economic Liberty and Human Flourishing (John T. Scott)
- Adam Smith and Human Flourishing (Ryan Patrick Hanley)
- Economic Liberty and Human Flourishing: Kant on Society, Citizenship, and Redistributive Justice (Susan Meld Shell)
- Edmund Burke’s Economics of Flourishing (Yuval Levin)
- Capitalism as a Road to Serfdom? Tocqueville on Economic Liberty and Human Flourishing (Steven Bilakovics)
- John Stuart Mill on Economic Liberty and Human Flourishing (Richard Boyd)
- Economic Liberty as Anti-Flourishing: Marx and Especially His Followers (Deirdre Nansen McCloskey)