This volume brings together distinguished philosophers with interdisciplinary expertise to show how the resources of philosophy can be employed in the tasks of evaluating economics and fostering policy debates. Contributors offer analyses of basic ideas in economics, such as the notion of efficiency, "economic man", incentives, self-interest, and utility maximization. They discuss key concepts in political theory such as desert, compensation, autonomy, equality, consent or fairness. The book then offers examples of how philosophical resources can be applied to specific, timely debates, such as discrimination, affirmative action, and ethical considerations in Social Security. These applications demonstrate how philosophy, politics, and economics can be fruitfully combined, while the more theoretical chapters clarify fundamental relationships across these related disciplines. Ultimately, the text guides students and scholars in expanding their perspectives as they approach the necessarily complex research questions of today and tomorrow.
About the authors
Gerald F. Gaus is James E. Rogers Professor of Philosophy at The University of Arizona; he is the author of On Philosophy, Politics, and Economics (2008). Christi Favor is Lecturer at the Queensland University of Technology's Center for Ethics. Julian Lamont is Lecturer in the Philosophy Department at the University of Queensland.
"The editors bring together an interesting and thought-provoking collection of essays at the intersection of several disciplines. The juxtaposition of these pieces casts their topics in a new light, suggesting fresh and illuminating lines of thought and research. This collection should be of interest to a wide range of scholars and students interested in crucial questions of public policy and their theoretical underpinnings."
—Diane Jeske, University of Iowa
"In the 20th century, Economics aspired to become a technical discipline, more akin to engineering and physics. The effort to build a discipline of this nature has failed. Now, what was old is new again. The disciplines of Philosophy, Politics, and Economics are once again being integrated and there is a common research program emerging. Philosophy, Politics & Economics is an outstanding collection of contemporary essays. It is a great place to start to get a sense of today's questions and approachesand the potential for this integration to improve our understanding of the human condition."
—Peter J. Boettke, Professor of Economics and BB&T Professor for the Study of Capitalism at the Mercatus Center, George Mason University