The great divorce: the freeing of markets from communities and from moral constraint

Kenneth W. Stikkers (Department of Philosophy, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, Illinois, USA)

Humanomics

ISSN: 0828-8666

Publication date: 5 August 2014

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to explain how economics severed itself from the moral constraint of community and from ethics.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper utilizes respected economic histories (e.g. Tawney, Polanyi, Heilbroner) and analyzes central theoretical texts of modern capitalism (e.g. Adam Smith).

Findings

This paper concludes that the divorce of economics from community and ethics had historical causes, beginning with enclosure, and was then theoretically justified by the classical economics.

Practical implications

The paper suggests that, if social economics wish to reconnect economics with ethics, they need first to understand and to contend with, better than they have, the enormity of the historical and theoretical forces that drove the two apart in the first place.

Originality/value

While many social economists argue for the need to connect economics with ethics, few if any have offered an extended analysis of their divorce.

Keywords

Citation

W. Stikkers, K. (2014), "The great divorce: the freeing of markets from communities and from moral constraint", Humanomics, Vol. 30 No. 3, pp. 186-198. https://doi.org/10.1108/H-03-2014-0029

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Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2014, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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