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The Moral Meanings of Markets

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Abstract

Market supporters have consistently emphasized that markets make it so that selfinterested or even greedy individuals can only help themselves by serving their fellow men and women. This channeling of self-interest away from predation and toward profit seeking explains why market economies tend to be materially prosperous. Yet if markets only succeed in providing a wealth of goods and services at the cost of turning people into myopic hedonists, then it might very well be reasonable to despise them. The moral meanings of markets, however, are not suspect. This article offers a critique of the traditional defenses of the morality of markets and explains how markets depend on and promote virtue.

Ryan Langrill and Virgil Henry Storr, "The Moral Meanings of Markets," Journal of Markets & Morality 15, no. 2 (Fall 2012): 347-362


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