Ethical Economy

Ethical Dimensions of the Economy

Making Use of Hegel and the Concepts of Public and Merit Goods

Authors: Ver Eecke, Wilfried

  • Not purely philosophical but enters into a dialogue with economists
  • Interdisciplinary approach
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About this book

This book reflects philosophically about the socio-political dimension of economics.

Part I provides normative reflections on the economy: Section I reflects on the interconnections between the multiple discourses on the economy, section II presents Hegel's claim that the economic order is an ethical institution and defends his ontological view of the economy against the one of Adam Smith. Section III dialogues with economists about their concepts of public and merit goods. This section defends a Hegelian ontology of the economy through an analysis of technical concepts used by economists.

Part II provides applications derived from the normative analysis: Section I presents the views of authors in different academic disciplines pointing to failures in late capitalism, in particular failures of American capitalism and section II asks the question: " What must one pay attention to in a transition from a command economy to a free market?"

Section III draws attention to an overlap of ideas found in Catholic Social Thought and in the publications of some recent Nobel prize winners in economics (Buchanan, Sen, Stiglitz).

Reviews

From the reviews:

"This book draws heavily on Hegel to outline ethical dimensions of the economy. … The book would be most worthwhile for readers who are interested an argument that Hegel’s ideas are consistent with standard public goods theory, and with Musgrave’s concept of merit goods. … the book may be more appealing to philosophers who are interested in building a bridge between economics and philosophy to consider the role of government in the economy." (Randall G. Holcombe, Public Choice, Vol. 138, 2009)

“This book is a philosophical and ethical reflection on economics. … each chapter is preceded by an orienting abstract that points out the major argument that the chapter develops. … an excellent reading for faculty discussion groups bringing together the social sciences and the humanities.” (John Donovan, The Reviews of Metaphysics, Vol. LXIII (2), December, 2009)
“Hegel wrote at a time when mercantilist and physiocratic economic systems were being replaced by free-market capitalist systems, largely due to the influence of Adam Smith’s The Wealth of Nations. In the context of early 19th century Germany, Hegel’s problematic was the development of a theory of civil society in the context of a hereditary constitutional monarchy and a hereditary upper house of parliament. In that era, what would be the mediating agencies that would facilitate social prosperity through the modern economic developments, but also prevent extremes of poverty and social disruption for individuals left out of the ongoing dynamics? Hegel focused to a great extent on natural social/cultural organizing phenomena, which he called “corporations”, including such things as labor groups, professional societies, churches.
Since individuals gravitated naturally to such groupings, the key was to provide representation of their voices in government, thus providing an effective rapprochement of the individual with the universal, of nature with “spirit”. But if Hegel’s theory has worth, how to bring it into synchronization with the mechanics of modern democracies such as that of the United States? Wilfried Ver Eecke, in Hegel’s footsteps trying to avoid extremes of laissez-faire libertarianism and socialistic “command economies”, turns to the work of the political and economic theorists, Goetz Briefs, Mancur Olson, and Theodore Lowi, searching for answers to continuing questions concerning, taxation, welfare, limits of government intervention, etc. Of particular importance in his analysis is the distinction between public, private, and “merit” goods – the latter being an area insufficiently appreciated. This book is not on abstract economics, but in the continental tradition, and like Hegel, focuses on the interrelationship of politics, economics, ethics, and religion.” (Dr. Howard Kainz, Professor Emeritus, Marquette University)

Table of contents (1 chapters)

Buy this book

eBook $139.00
price for USA (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-540-77111-1
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $179.00
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-3-540-77110-4
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
Softcover $179.00
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-3-642-09585-6
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Ethical Dimensions of the Economy
Book Subtitle
Making Use of Hegel and the Concepts of Public and Merit Goods
Authors
Series Title
Ethical Economy
Copyright
2008
Publisher
Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg
Copyright Holder
Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg
eBook ISBN
978-3-540-77111-1
DOI
10.1007/978-3-540-77111-1
Hardcover ISBN
978-3-540-77110-4
Softcover ISBN
978-3-642-09585-6
Series ISSN
2211-2707
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XIV, 304
Topics