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Can we model politics as exclusively based on self-interest, leaving virtue aside? How much romance is there in the study of politics? We show that James Buchanan, a…
Can we model politics as exclusively based on self-interest, leaving virtue aside? How much romance is there in the study of politics? We show that James Buchanan, a founder of public choice and constitutional political economy, reintroduces a modicum of romance into politics, despite claiming that his work is the study of “politics without romance”: Buchanan’s model needs an ethical attitude to defend rules against rent-seeking.
We claim that Adam Smith, more than David Hume, should be considered one of the primary intellectual influences on Buchanan’s public choice and constitutional political economy. It is commonly believed that Hume assumes in politics every man ought to be considered a knave, making him an influence on Buchanan’s idea of politics without romance. Yet, it is Smith who, like Buchanan, describes rent-seeking and suggests that public virtues may be the remedy through which good rules maintaining liberty and prosperity can be generated and enforced. Smith, like Buchanan, rejects sole reliance on economic incentives: the study of politics needs some romance.
This chapter explores a number of relatively unknown aspects of the controversy over Milton Friedman’s March 1975 visit to Chile through the analytical framework provided…
This chapter explores a number of relatively unknown aspects of the controversy over Milton Friedman’s March 1975 visit to Chile through the analytical framework provided by James M. Buchanan’s late 1950s assessment of the economist-physician analogy. The chapter draws upon a range of archival and neglected primary sources to show that the topics which generally rear their head in any contemporary discussion of Friedman’s visit to Chile – for example, whether it is appropriate to provide policy advice to a dictator – were aired in a largely private mid-1970s exchange between Friedman and a number of professional associates. In particular, the controversy over Friedman and Chile began several months before Friedman arrived in Santiago.
Our approach is largely historical, argument by example. We leave it to the theoreticians and empiricists to take the argument in a more technical direction.1 Throughout…
Our approach is largely historical, argument by example. We leave it to the theoreticians and empiricists to take the argument in a more technical direction.1 Throughout, we suppose that germs are self-interested and they have a research question, for example, how might our species improve the chances of survival, the answer to which might potentially benefit germs (or, harm them by less).
Rawls, most visibly in A Theory of Justice, made numerous references to various topics in economics, and footnoted a significant number of economists. This paper will…
Rawls, most visibly in A Theory of Justice, made numerous references to various topics in economics, and footnoted a significant number of economists. This paper will argue that Rawls made use of the ideal theory of markets as a reference point and as an analytical tool. In their ideal form, markets represent attributes Rawls intended to describe his system, and in their real-world guise embody certain sorts of striving – for instance, after power – that were central to Rawls’s justification of the original position. Markets also serve in Theory as a benchmark against which political forms can be criticized. Additionally, markets in Theory are approved of as allocative and wealth-producing mechanisms, but criticized for their final distributional results. The paper suggests that these assessments in Rawls likely originate in early essays by economist Frank Knight. Knight was, according to Pogge, the probable source for an early version of Rawls’s original position, and is footnoted in key spots in Theory. But the similarities between Knight’s reasoning and Rawls’s appear more significant still. Using Rawls’s extensively annotated copy of Knight’s Ethics of Competition, that supposition is explored.
This paper situates the concept of library as place in its broader context of relevant theory and research in a number of fields, primarily psychology, neurology, geography, philosophy, and architecture. The term “place” is defined, its powers described, and its role in library administration and design thus revealed to be one of very considerable significance at the highest levels of library mission in any setting.
This volume contains papers given at the third biennial Wirth Institute for Austrian and Central European Studies Conference on Austrian Economics. The conference was held…
This volume contains papers given at the third biennial Wirth Institute for Austrian and Central European Studies Conference on Austrian Economics. The conference was held at a beautiful waterfront facility of Simon Fraser University on October 15 and 16, 2010. In spite of all warnings to expect fog and rain in the Pacific Northwest, the weather was sunny and mild, as were the spirits of the conferees. Our topic title, “Austrian Views on Experts and Epistemic Monopolies,” was perhaps a bit misleading because some of the views represented were not “Austrian.” Indeed, the editorial mission of Advances in Austrian Economics has been to promote dialogue between the “Austrian” tradition of economics and other traditions both within in economics and beyond. Participants discussed the problem of experts from several Austrian and non-Austrian perspectives. While representing different points of view, the participants did tend toward the view that experts may pose a problem in one way or another, especially when they enjoy an epistemic monopoly.