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The Ethics of Keynes

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Abstract

Early in Keynes’s student days at Cambridge University, at the beginning of the twentieth century, he was attracted to the Apostles, a group of free-thinking students, including Bertrand Russell and A. N. Whitehead, together with several literary and artistic figures prominent in the British scene who were enamored with the moral philosophy of G. E. Moore. These intellectuals, under Moore’s influence, questioned all moral authority. Moore’s ethical standard required one to consider all the consequences of any moral act, even into the infinite future. However, by the late 1930s, in his “My Ethical Beliefs,” Keynes would distance himself somewhat from that moral standard. Keynes also rejected any system of natural laws governing economics. Hence, order in any economic system needed to be imposed, for example, by wise policymakers.

Hadley T. Mitchell, "The Ethics of Keynes," Journal of Markets & Morality 20, no. 1 (Spring 2017): 23-37

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