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A Social Morality for Mortals

21 Pages Posted: 9 Sep 2014 Last revised: 2 Aug 2016

Peter J. Boettke

George Mason University - Department of Economics

Rosolino A. Candela

Brown University

Date Written: September 8, 2014


This essay praises Gerald Gaus’s The Order of Public Reason as a building block for all normative explorations into the institutional foundations of human sociability. It evaluates the normative implications put forth by Gaus in terms of the Kirzner’s “finder’s keeper’s ethic.” This raises a question about the relationship between the moral order and the political order that underlies market processes. Examining the role of entrepreneurship in the market process in relation to Kirzner’s “finder’s keeper’s principle” suggests a deeper ethical foundation that underpins the institutional conditions of “social morality.”

Keywords: Gerald Gaus, Israel Kirzner, Socialist Calculation Debate, political economy

JEL Classification: B2, B53, P16

Suggested Citation

Boettke, Peter J. and Candela, Rosolino A., A Social Morality for Mortals (September 8, 2014). Forthcoming, The Review of Austrian Economics. Available at SSRN: or

Peter J. Boettke

George Mason University - Department of Economics ( email )

4400 University Drive
Fairfax, VA 22030
United States
703-993-1149 (Phone)
703-993-1133 (Fax)

Rosolino A. Candela (Contact Author)

Brown University ( email )

Box 1860
Providence, RI 02912
United States


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