The Impartial Spectator and the Moral Teachings of Markets

16 Pages Posted: 9 May 2013

See all articles by Virgil Henry Storr

Virgil Henry Storr

George Mason University - Department of Economics; George Mason University - Mercatus Center; University of Arizona Center for the Philosophy of Freedom

Date Written: May 7, 2013

Abstract

Market skeptics have persuasively argued that the market is a social arena that is not simply amoral but that has negative moral consequences. Market apologists have offered two basic responses to this kind of charge: that the market is amoral and that it transforms private vice into public virtue. This chapter, however, directly discusses the moral teachings of the market i.e. the moral sentiments individuals are likely to acquire and develop as they engage in the market. Rather than celebrating selfishness and greed, I argue that the market tends to punish both vices. The market is a moral teacher.

Keywords: Adam Smith, market morality, impartial spectator, man in the breast

Suggested Citation

Storr, Virgil Henry, The Impartial Spectator and the Moral Teachings of Markets (May 7, 2013). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2262324 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2262324

Virgil Henry Storr (Contact Author)

George Mason University - Department of Economics ( email )

4400 University Drive
Fairfax, VA 22030
United States

HOME PAGE: http://virgilstorr.org/

George Mason University - Mercatus Center ( email )

3434 Washington Blvd., 4th Floor
Arlington, VA 22201
United States

HOME PAGE: http://virgilstorr.org/

University of Arizona Center for the Philosophy of Freedom ( email )

Department of History
Tucson, AZ 85721
United States

HOME PAGE: http://virgilstorr.org/

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