Economics as a Moral Science


Though NC economics texts are careful to distinguish between the value-free NC science of economics and subjective and unscientific thinking about values and morality,1 economics was traditionally a branch of moral philosophy and is a moral science. Adam Smith was a professor of moral philosophy (Heilbroner 1992), Keynes believed that “economics is essentially a moral science” (Davis 1991), and economics was part of the “moral sciences tripos” concentration at Cambridge University in the 1930s (Boulding 1969). Recognizing that morality will be increasingly influenced by science or evidence and reason, as discussed in Chap. 2 and that the ultimate purpose of social science and economics is to improve human well-being, as discussed in Chap. 1, this chapter attempts to expose the futility of continuing to try to separate moral science from the pursuit of human well-being, by claiming that both are properly inherent to economics.

Though I believe that this link should be obvious and...


Moral Science Economic Thinking Mainstream Economic Perfect Competition Production Possibility Frontier 
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© The Author(s) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Benedictine UniversityIllinoisUSA

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