This distinguished book provides a critical assessment of the relationship between economic theory, scientific objectivity and ethics.
The main purpose of economic science is to analyse and `explain' the economic process but not necessarily to pass judgement as to whether this process is `good' or `bad'. However, in practice it is very difficult for the economist to study the `laws' of economics without ever touching ethical questions. It is shown that economic theories - despite avowals of scientific objectivity - contain implicitly or explicitly many aspects which have ethical implications.
Making extensive use of real-life examples and offering a new perspective on the ethical dimensions of economic analysis, this book will prove essential reading for economists and philosophers alike.
The late Kurt W. Rothschild, Formerly Professor Emeritus of Economics, University of Linz, Austria
Contents: 1. On Ethics 2. Ethics and Economic Research 3. The `Wertfreiheits' Problem 4. Homo Oeconomicus - Homo Sociologicus 5. Moral Aspects of the Market 6. Welfare Economics 7. Interpersonal Comparisons of Utility 8. Cost-Benefit Analysis 9. Income Distribution and Justice