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A Short History of Economics As a Moral Science

James E. Alvey


The essay that follows shows the genesis of economics as a moral science and chronicles some of the developments in mainstream economics that metamorphosed the discipline to the point where moral concerns are now irrelevant. The first section presents a brief overview of the connection between economics and moral philosophy before Adam Smith. The second section presents some brief points about Adam Smiths science of economics. The third section turns to the developments in economics from Smiths time until 1900. The fourth section sketches the developments during the present century. The final section presents a summary of the argument.

James E. Alvey, "A Short History of Economics As a Moral Science," Journal of Markets & Morality 2, no. 1 (Spring 1999): 53-73

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