Economics as Moral Science

Front Cover
Springer Science & Business Media, 2001 - Business & Economics - 380 pages
0 Reviews
Economics as Moral Science investigates the problem of the ethical neutrality of "mainstream" economic theory within the context of the methodology of economics as a science. Against the conventional wisdom, the author argues that there are serious moral presuppositions to the theory, but that economics could still count as a scientific or rational form of inquiry. The basic questions addressed - the ethical implications of economics, its status as a scientific mode of theory-construction, and the relation between these factors - are absolutely fundamental ones for an understanding of contemporary economics, the philosophy of the human sciences, and our current market culture. Moreover, the study provides a thorough philosophical analysis of the critical issues at stake from the inside, from the credible perspective of a particular, but foundational economic theory - the neoclassical theory of rational choice.
  

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.

Contents

Introduction
1
TheoryConstruction in Economic Science
6
1 Verification and Idealization
9
2 Explanation and Necessary Truth
15
3 Necessary Generalizations and Corrigibility
25
Rationality Values and Economic Theory
30
2 Rationality and ValueAscriptions
32
The Intransigence of Evaluative Concepts
37
Essential Statements and Holisitic Theory
172
2 WellBehaved Orderings and WellBehaved Individuals
175
Wellbehaved Individuals and the Common Good
177
4 Wellbehaved Orderings and the Common Good
180
5 Empirical Realism and Mathematical Rigour
185
6 Microeconomics and the QuineDuhem Thesis
187
Economic Uncertainty and Logical Structure
191
2 Uncertainty and Necessary Truth
197

1 Excising Evaluative Concepts
38
2 Explanatory Impoverishment
41
3 Loss of Normative Applicability
44
The Ethical Content of Formal Structures
49
1 Maximizing and Moral Options
51
2 Liberal or Illiberal Growth Ethic
54
3 Consumer Consistency and its Value
56
Rationality and Virtue
69
Teleology and Utilitarian Economics
79
1 Utilitarianism and the Reduction of Purposive Explanations
80
2 Mechanistic Confusions
85
3 Ethical and Psychological Hedonism
87
A Thought Experiment
90
Functionalism and the Systems Approach
97
2 Functional Explanations and ValueLaden Theories
99
Mechanism and Systems Theory
102
Explanatory Adequacy
107
Normative Adequacy
114
Reasons Causes and Economic Methodology
119
2 Necessary Connections Causality and Action
122
3 Rational Causality Deliberation and Intentional Systems
131
4 Deliberation and Ethical Conservativism
135
S Marx Mill and Eternal Laws
138
Justification Obligation and Consumer Motivation
141
1 Reasons Norms and Motivations
143
Economic Rules and Psychological Sanctions
149
Mills Proof
153
Chapter 10 The Problems Related
157
2 Normative Idealization and Necessary Truth
160
Myrdal
165
4 Ideal Facts
169
Maximizing and Satisficing
199
4 Maximizing and Regret Theory
211
Economic Uncertainty and Consumer Autonomy
218
Market Knowledge and Spontaneous Order
219
2 Consumer Sovereignty and Epistemic Individualism
222
3 Product Complexity and Information Vector
226
4 Inverting the Frame
231
Akrasia and SelfDeception
233
6 Autonomy and Adaptation
236
7 Autonomy and Paternalism
238
From Normative Theory to Empirical Science
245
1 Converting Economic Norms into Economic Facts
246
2 Methodological Implications
250
3 The Regulative Primacy of ValueJudgments
253
4 An Empiricist Rejoinder
256
5 Empiricism or PostEmpiricism?
257
Neoclassical Economics and Scientific Utopias
262
Reporting and Prescribing Values
264
3 Testing an Economic Utopia
268
Neoclassical Economics and the Rational Justifiability of Moral Principles
276
2 Noncognitivism and Moral Arguments
277
Hume
284
The Link with Neoclassical Economics
287
5 Rationality and Basic Motivating States
290
6 Rational Ends and Moral Science
298
Conclusion
305
Notes
311
References
357
INDEX
374
Copyright

Common terms and phrases

References to this book

All Book Search results »

Bibliographic information