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Reconnecting Economics with Moral Sciences

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INET and Michael Sandel will be starting a new video series on what money can and cannot buy, and in the process reconnect economics with moral philosophy. [embedded content]  There is much to learn from his musings. But I believe he also has some serious blind spots.  Since I began my career focused on the history of ideas on socialism, and history of practice of socialism, these issues of what was science, and what was normative theorizing was critical to my enterprise.  See, e.g., this paper published with a certain sense of irony in Faith & Economics. But my own thinking on this can be seen in a series of essays throughout my career -- hopefully reflecting both coherence and growth -- can be found here, here and here.  Kaitlyn Woltz and I have recently contributed a paper to

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INET and Michael Sandel will be starting a new video series on what money can and cannot buy, and in the process reconnect economics with moral philosophy.

 There is much to learn from his musings. But I believe he also has some serious blind spots.  Since I began my career focused on the history of ideas on socialism, and history of practice of socialism, these issues of what was science, and what was normative theorizing was critical to my enterprise.  See, e.g., this paper published with a certain sense of irony in Faith & Economics. But my own thinking on this can be seen in a series of essays throughout my career -- hopefully reflecting both coherence and growth -- can be found here, here and here.  Kaitlyn Woltz and I have recently contributed a paper to Mark White's Oxford Handbook on Economics & Ethics as well that should be published in the next year.  

Yes, Virginia, Economics is a Science, but Political Economy is an Art.  And the worldly philosophy is best practiced when we remember this, and practice our craft in the tradition of Adam Smith to John Stewart Mill.  Someday I am going to write a book dealing with the fate of moral philosophers in the age of economic scientism.

Peter Boettke
Peter Joseph Boettke (January 3, 1960) is an American economist of the Austrian School. He is currently a University Professor of Economics and Philosophy at George Mason University; the BB&T Professor for the Study of Capitalism, Vice President for Research, and Director of the F.A. Hayek Program for Advanced Study in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics at the Mercatus Center at GMU.

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