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Home > Catalogue > The Moral Ecology of Markets
The Moral Ecology of Markets


  • Page extent: 182 pages
  • Size: 228 x 152 mm
  • Weight: 0.373 kg

Library of Congress

  • Dewey number: 174/.4
  • Dewey version: 22
  • LC Classification: HB501 .F495 2006
  • LC Subject headings:
    • Capitalism--Moral and ethical aspects
    • Distributive justice

Library of Congress Record

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 (ISBN-13: 9780521860826 | ISBN-10: 0521860822)

DOI: 10.2277/0521860822

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 (Stock level updated: 16:50 GMT, 09 October 2015)


Disagreements about the morality of markets, and about self-interested behavior within markets, run deep. They arise from perspectives within economics and political philosophy that appear to have nothing in common. In this book, Daniel Finn provides a framework for understanding these conflicting points of view. Recounting the arguments for and against markets and self-interest, he argues that every economy must address four fundamental problems: allocation, distribution, scale, and the quality of relations. In addition, every perspective on the morality of markets addresses explicitly or implicitly the economic, political, and cultural contexts of markets, or what Finn terms 'the moral ecology of markets'. His book enables a dialogue among the various participants in the debate over justice in markets. In this process, Finn engages with major figures in political philosophy, including John Rawls, Robert Nozick, and Michael Walzer, as well as in economics, notably Milton Friedman, Friedrich Hayek, and James Buchannan.

• Engages the debates about capitalism and markets across the disciplines of economics, political science, and political philosophy • Provides a novel framework for placing conflicting points of view in dialogue with each other • Well-written and non-technical, this book is useful to scholars and accessible to students


1. Thinking ethically about economic life; Part I. Self-interest, Morality, and the Problems of Economic Life: 2. De-moralized economic discourse about markets; 3. The moral defense of self-interest and markets; 4. The moral critique of self-interest and markets; 5. The four problems of economic life; Part II. The Moral Ecology of Markets: 6. The market as an arena of freedom; 7. The moral ecology of markets; 8. Implications.


'… given the charged nature of the elements of moral ecology, Finn provides an excellent framework for mapping our disagreements. This is good, since understanding where we disagree is surely the first step toward mutual understanding and reasoned discussion.' The Journal of Value Inquiry

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