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.
Daniel Finn is both an economist and theologian and has written extensively on the relation of ethics and economics. The author of Just Trading: On the Economics and Ethics of International Trade and Toward a Christian Economic Ethic: Stewardship and Social Power, he received the Thomas F. Divine Award from the Association for Social Ethics for lifetime achievement in contributions to social economics and the social economy.
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.