Economics in Search of a Moral Philosophy

Working Paper
Author: Wahiduddin Mahmud

January 2021

The purpose of this essay is to review the state of economics as a discipline in light of how and to what extent ethical considerations and the precepts of moral philosophy affect the theory and application of economics. In its pursuit for purely ‘objective’ analyses and, thereby, attain the status of a science, modern neo-classical economics is constrained by self-imposed limitations in making value judgments about justice and fairness in a market economy. Adam Smith’s idea of “invisible hand” of the market driven by self-interested behaviour has sometimes been interpreted, wrongly, as a kind of market fundamentalism that ignores many failures and brutalities of the modern-day capitalism.



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