The Moral Meanings of Markets

Journal of Markets and Morality, 15 (2) 2012

17 Pages Posted: 6 Nov 2013

See all articles by Ryan Langrill

Ryan Langrill

Dissertation Fellow

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: Fall 2012

Abstract

Market supporters have consistently emphasized that markets make it so that self-interested 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.

Keywords: morals, markets, morality, virtue

Suggested Citation

Langrill, Ryan and Storr, Virgil Henry, The Moral Meanings of Markets (Fall 2012). Journal of Markets and Morality, 15 (2) 2012. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2350846

Ryan Langrill

Dissertation Fellow ( email )

4400 University Drive
Fairfax, VA 22030
United States

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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