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Commerce Unbound: A Modern Promethean Story

13 Pages Posted: 9 Dec 2016 Last revised: 8 May 2017

Jan Osborn

Chapman University

Bart J. Wilson

Chapman University - Smith Institute for Political Economy and Philosophy; Chapman University - Economic Science Institute (ESI); Chapman University, The Dale E. Fowler School of Law

Gus P Gradinger

Chapman University

Date Written: May 7, 2017

Abstract

We experiment with integrating economics and ethics in a form that could be described as literary-critical economic nonfiction. After offering an interpretation of Percy Shelley's “Prometheus Unbound,” we map the modern world of commerce into our interpretation of the lyrical drama to revivify bourgeois life as Shelley revivifies the Promethean story with his own take on the myth. In doing so we make Shelley’s purpose our own, “to familiarize” our readers “with beautiful idealisms of moral excellence” in their everyday lives of commerce. Shelley’s point and ours is that any socio-economic revolution, whether from the left or the right, will ultimately fail if it is fomented by despair, anger, and hate.

Keywords: Bourgeois Ethics, Commerce, Prometheus Unbound, Percy Shelley

JEL Classification: A1, B0, Z1

Suggested Citation

Osborn, Jan and Wilson, Bart J. and Gradinger, Gus P, Commerce Unbound: A Modern Promethean Story (May 7, 2017). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2859643

Jan Osborn

Chapman University ( email )

English Department
One University Drive
Orange, CA 92866
United States
714-270-1015 (Phone)

Bart Wilson (Contact Author)

Chapman University - Smith Institute for Political Economy and Philosophy ( email )

One University Drive
Orange, CA 92866
United States
(714) 628-7306 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www1.chapman.edu/~bjwilson/

Chapman University - Economic Science Institute (ESI) ( email )

One University Drive
Orange, CA 92866
United States
(714) 628-7306 (Phone)

Chapman University, The Dale E. Fowler School of Law ( email )

One University Drive
Orange, CA 92866-1099
United States
(714) 628-7306 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www1.chapman.edu/~bjwilson/

Gus Gradinger

Chapman University ( email )

Orange, CA 92866
United States

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