Political Theory

Markets, Morality, and Liberty


Through a mix of classical and contemporary readings, this conference encouraged a dialogue around capitalism's ethical and moral dimensions, with particular attention to debates about economic liberty.


From Liberty Fund

The Theory of Moral Sentiments

by By Adam Smith
Edited by D. D. Raphael and A. L. Macfie

The Theory of Moral Sentiments, Smith’s first and in his own mind most important work, outlines his view of proper conduct and the institutions and sentiments that make men virtuous. Here he develops his doctrine of the impartial spectator, whose hypothetical disinterested judgment we must use to distinguish right from…

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Additional Readings

Mill, John Stuart. The Collected Works of John Stuart Mill, Volume XVIII-Essays on Politics and Society Part I. Chapter: ON LIBERTY 1859. Edited by John M. Robson. Toronto: Toronto University Press, 1977.http://oll.libertyfund.org/title/233/16550 (accessed 2009-09-29).

Hendrickson, Mark W., eds. The Morality of Capitalism, New York: Foundation for Economic Education, 1996.

Acton, H. B. The Morals of Markets and Related Essays. Edited by David Gordon and Jeremy Shearmur. Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, Inc., 1993.

Bastiat, Frédéric. “Economic Harmonies.” Liberty Fund, Inc. http://oll.libertyfund.org/title/79/35571 (May 22, 2009).

Bastiat, Frédéric. Selected Essays on Political Economy (Fourth Edition). Edited by George B. de Huszar. Translated by Seymour Cain. Irving-on-Hudson: Foundation for Economic Education, 1995. http://econlib.com/library/Bastiat/basEss.html (accessed November 12, 2009).

Heyne, Paul. "Moral Criticism of Markets." The Senior Economist (April 1995): 3-5, 12.

Hill, P.J. "PERC Viewpoints." PERC. http://www.perc.org/files/markandmor.pdf (May 29, 2009).

Locke, John. Two Treatises of Government. Edited by Thomas Hollis. London: A. Millar et al, 1764.

McCloskey, Deirdre. "Bourgeois Virtue." The American Scholar 63, no. 2 (Spring 1994): 177-191.

North, Douglass, Daniel K. Benjamin, and Robert LeRoy Miller. The Economics of Public Issues (12th edition). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Addison Wesley, 2001.

Novak, Michael. Business as a Calling: Work and the Examined Life. Glencoe, Illinois: Free Press, 1996.

Sandel, Michael. "What Money Can't Buy." Tanner Lectures on Human Values, Brasenose College, Oxford, May 11 and 12, 1998. http://www.tannerlectures.utah.edu/lectures/documents/sandel00.pdf (accessed May 15, 2009) .