Economics and ethics relationship

economics and ethics relationship

There are all kinds of sets of values and religions around the world. But some morals are universal. I believe the main moral principle is that of private property. This paper is based on the relationship between beings and must be logic to extract. Key words: meta-ethics, normative ethics, moral education, economics, . Abstract: The relationship between ethics and economics in the modern age is Ethical values emerge in the course of developing economic relations and.

Knowledge of the choice of alternative social arrangements is vital to making the choice among those arrangements. If we deny that this knowledge is obtainable in any manner that allows for interpersonal assessment, then we deny for the moral science of political economy the ability to adjudicate between different conceptions of social organization.

On the other hand, if we restrict our analytical attention to the relationship between means and ends, and thus treat ends as given, then we can obtain the necessary critical information that eventually makes value-relevant statements move beyond mere opinions reflecting the political and social preferences of the analyst. Practical sciences bear on purposive action and are those moral or value-relevant sciences.

The technical sciences, on the other hand, determine the most adequate way of attaining a desired goal or making a product. A continuous dialectical flow oscillating between practical and technical considerations ought to be followed. Rothschild, however, admits that in practice, it can be difficult for the economists to engage in their studies without raising some ethical questions. Economic theory is seen as a positive science which has to analyse and to explain the mechanisms of economic processes….

Keita, on the other hand, is sceptical of the pretensions of economics, at least in its neoclassical variety, to scientific status. Given that the whole theoretical structure of economics rests on the postulate of rationality which for him is through and through normative he believes that this is enough to make economics, just as such, a normative discipline.

As I have indicated above, economics is internally normative, and necessarily so, for the data with which it deals is constituted by human action and its manifestations. But that kind of normativity is not enough to settle the question of whether the distinction between a normative and a non-normative economics is viable.

It is still an open question whether economics, thus normatively constituted, is denuded of its a-moral technical dimension. I believe that the answer to this question is that it is not. Two extremes are therefore to be avoided. A Case in Point To focus the discussion a little more sharply, I should like to consider a case in point. This body of social teaching has the capacity to divide Catholics of various political hues. Some find the teachings on, say, the just wage and the original gift of the world to the whole of mankind, to be a wholly appropriate criticism of the manifold deficiencies of capitalism, while others find such teaching to be economically naive.

Others are heartened by the assertion of the right to private property and the ringing condemnation of socialism as a system; others are equally appalled by this. Some applaud one encyclical and disparage another. Others, perhaps more moderately, discern a certain unresolved tension in the Papal pronouncements. On the one hand, they command the freedom of the market and, on the other, they command the payment of a living wage.

A Hot Debate A lively dispute on the relationship between Catholic Social Teaching and economics has broken out on the web. Woods pretty much accuses the authors of the encyclicals of a certain kind of economic voluntarism! Indeed much of Catholic social thought suggests that the problem of economics and wealth is to a significant degree a matter of human manipulation and contrivance rather than a rational and sober reckoning with the constraints and scarcities with which man is naturally confronted.

More on this later. In at least partial sympathy with Woods, William R. Luckey argues that Catholic Social Teaching has its roots in the German Historical School, which was radically opposed to the view that economics was a science.

If it is dissent to reject the sexual doctrine taught in the Encyclicals, why, he wonders, should it not also be dissent to reject the social teaching regarding such things as economic rights in those documents? His objection, it seems to me, is extremely pertinent.

Catholic social thought does not regard economics as a hard science, like mathematics; at best, it is a science in the sense that Latin and all European language other than English can use the term—knowledge as an object of study.

The relationship between economics and ethics and the light Dooyeweerd sheds on it

Woods responded in a short paper of 22 Junereferring to his forthcoming book. The key point in this paper and, presumably, the book is to distinguish between moral and technical matters. Where a policy or procedure is intrinsically immoral, no instrumental considerations come into play.

Abortion, for example is intrinsically immoral so its alleged efficiency as a method of population control is irrelevant. But where policies or procedures are morally indifferent then technical considerations come into play in considering which to choose.

In this claim he is, I believe, fundamentally correct. Certainly the Church was not given the commission to guide men to an only fleeting and perishable happiness [ad fluxam solum et caducam felicitatem dirigendi] but to that which is eternal. For as to these, the deposit of truth that God committed to Us and the grave duty of disseminating and interpreting the whole moral law, and of urging it in season and out of season, bring under and subject to Our supreme jurisdiction not only social order but economic activities themselves.

Even though economics [oeconomica res] and moral science [moralis disciplina—i. Certainly the laws of economics [oeconomicae… leges], as they are termed, being based on the very nature of material things [ex ipsis rerum naturis] and on the capacities of the human body and mind [et humani corporis animique indole profectae], determine the limits of what productive effort cannot, and of what it can, attain in the economic field and by what means [statuunt quidem quosnam fines hominis efficientia non possit, quosnam possit quibusque adhibitis mediis in campo oeconomico persequi].

Yet it is reason itself that clearly shows, on the basis of the individual and social nature of things and of men, the purpose that God ordained for all economic life. But it is only the moral law which, just as it commands us to seek our supreme and last end in the whole scheme of our activity, so likewise commands us to seek directly in each kind of activity those purposes which we know that nature, or rather God the Author of nature, established for that kind of action, and in orderly relationship to subordinate such immediate purposes to our supreme and last end.

If we faithfully observe this law, then it will follow that the particular purposes, both individual and social, that are sought in the economic field will fall in their proper place in the universal order of purposes and we, in ascending through them, as it were by steps, shall attain the final end of all things, that is God, to Himself and to us, the supreme and inexhaustible Good. Both economics and moral science have a their own principles b which operate in their own spheres However, it is an error to hold that a the economic order, and b the moral order are so distinct that a depends in no way on b.

While situating all human activity within the scope of morality how could it be placed otherwise? In technical matters the Church and, by extension, any moral theory has nothing to say to economics.

economics and ethics relationship

Which matters, precisely, are technical, and what precisely the laws of economics are—these questions, of course, are not easily answered and different views can and will be taken.

But the principled point has, I believe, been conceded that whatever be the scope of the technical economics, and whatever be its laws, they cannot just as such be constrained by ethics.

Select Bibliography Alvey, James E. Values in Ethics and Economics. The Irrelevance of Conventional Economics. Weidenfeld and Nicolson, The Possibility of Christian Personalism. Is Economics a Moral Science?: A Response to Ricardo E. Ethics out of Economics. The Economic Thought of the Late Scholastics. Hayek and Wilhelm Roepke. In the remainder of this essay I will refer to several aspects and structures of reality which are shown in the above figure 1.

It lists the various modal aspects again and relates to them some example structures of reality in terms of their subject-functions to be explained below. The economic an sich, in other words, does not exist. Dooyeweerd furthermore argues that everything or everyone that exists has, besides all other aspects, an economic way of being. More precisely, it can have a so-called economic subject-function, object-function and qualifying function.

In the first case something has an economic aspect by itself as one of its functions e. This is to say it is subject to the norms and characteristics of the economic aspect.

In the second case something is an object of economic valuation books, flowers, etc. Note that the second case also applies to instances of the first case; in theory human beings may be an economic object.

Finally, something can have an economic qualifying function. In this case its most characteristic or guiding function is the economic firms, households, markets, etc.

The same holds true for coins, banknotes and so on, which do not have an economic subject function — their highest subject function is the physical aspect — but are nevertheless qualified as economic.

Dooyeweerd and Robbins agree on the idea that there is no such thing as economy without social interaction. Or as Robbins formulates it: Dooyeweerd, however, believes the economic aspect only makes sense by virtue of all the foregoing aspects from the numerical up to and including the social.

Take notice that Robbins distinguishes nearly the same components and calls the choice in 4 the economic aspect. An individual who faces a problem in the form 1 - 3 has to choose or economise. It enables him to speak of uneconomical behaviour, namely whenever it violates the norm of frugality. Dooyeweerd believes this economic principle should be given positive content by economists in accordance with time and place.

This means that economics is not merely empirical, but should also take its normative nature into account. After all, the economic problem in 1 - 4 involves value-laden concepts as importance, scarcity, choice and frugality. Robbins agrees that economics deals with the valuations of economic individuals, but underlines throughout his Essay that economics is not concerned with means and ends as such.

What Is Relationship Economics?

Apparently economists treat valuations as facts. The ethical aspect and its relation to economics It is remarkable that both Dooyeweerd and Robbins do not refer to money or wealth in their definition of economics. This makes Robbins argue that economic rationality does not involve the idea of ethical appropriateness. Dooyeweerd seems to agree to this when he states that in the economic law sphere man is subject to specific economic norms instead of moral norms.

Economic norms have to be distinguished from ethical ones and as a consequence uneconomical behaviour is not necessarily unethical. However, I will show that this is only part of the story for him. Alike the economic, Dooyeweerd conceives the ethical as an aspect of reality. Again only theoretical analyses make clear that everything can have an ethical subject-function, object-function and qualifying function.

Dooyeweerd further defines the meaning kernel of the moral aspect quite narrowly as love. Ethics is not an autonomous and super-temporal system of morality, but concerned with various manifestations of love and lovelessness from neighbour love to patriotism. How love is defined depends inter alia on the relationship between the economic and ethical aspect.

How does Dooyeweerd think of the relationship between the economic and ethical aspect? First of all the economic and ethical appear to refer to each other. Among others, because the ethical aspect requires all preceding aspects, of which most prominently the economic, aesthetic and juridical. Love is thus partly defined in terms of the meaning kernel of both the economic, aesthetic and juridical aspect.

In his opinion, cultural development implies the deepening of the post-historical linguistic, social, economic, etc. This also holds true for the associated sciences. By taking into account aesthetics, law, ethics and faith in economics, the last-mentioned is brought to a higher level. Economic theory that lacks attention for ethical questions is as a consequence still primitive.

It is clear that as from this point Dooyeweerd differs from Robbins.

ارتباط اخلاق و اقتصاد بر اساس الگوی پیشنهادی نظام مندی معرفتهای اقتصادی

The latter is often cited as an opponent of economic science wedded to ethics. Although Dooyeweerd agrees that the autonomy of both economics and ethics should be maintained, he does not leave valuations and obligations to the latter. First, both economics and ethics have an own sphere of norms and with that valuations.

Economic theories are not merely an abstract form of analyses without empirical content, but should take into account the societal relationships in which economic behaviour is embedded. This means that economics should rely on sociology that studies and clarifies the social structures of society Dooyeweerd Moreover, economic behaviour itself is shaped by several non-economic factors including ethical values. After all, when economics zeros in on ethics the ethical and religious convictions of the economists comes into play.

Dooyeweerd believes there is simply no value-freeness of thinking in both sciences. I hasten to add that this attempt is partly extrapolation and thus speculative. Ethical limits of the market The first case concerns the ethical or moral limits of the market. Robbins emphasizes that commodities or economic goods in this definition actually do not exit, since their conception is necessarily purely formal.

Whether a thing or service is economic depends entirely on its scarcity relative to the total desired amount, which in turn is based on psychological valuations. This raises the question if any thing or service may be commodified on the basis of sufficient demand.

Heavens Above! The Relation of Ethics and Economics | Thomas More Institute

Are there any exceptions where the scope of the market is limited by moral convictions? An example of this debate is the case of commercial surrogacy or contract pregnancy e. Anderson and Satz The question is whether it is ethical to have a market for surrogacy; reproduction by paying a nother woman to become pregnant and bear a child. From an economic point of view such a market encourages women to offer their reproductive labor in reaction to existing demand and leads to price coordination.

Given that there is demand for commercial surrogacy and a market would be efficient, should its commodification be allowed? The first question Dooyeweerd would possibly ask henceforth I express his ideas is about which individuality structures of society we are talking. Conception, pregnancy and child bearing are capabilities that are typically connected with the biotic aspect, which is one of the subject-functions of human beings.

At first sight it does not seem unnatural or uneconomical to exchange such a biological functioning. In terms of biotic natural laws the possibility of surrogacy implies its naturalness. The example of flowers, which have both a biotic subject function and qualifying function, shows that biotic characteristics can have an economic object function as well. However, the begetting of children should not be regarded as a coincidence of casual passers-by. In general, parents and their minor children form a natural family community, [2] which shows a typical biotic foundation and moral qualifying function.

Precisely the fact that the communal tie between parents and children is genetic and based on intersexual procreation make the biotic the foundational aspect or earliest subjection-function of the family. Yet the leading function of the family is not biotic but moral, since the communal bond of the family is — or at least should be — love. Here love should not merely be regarded as the abstract meaning kernel of the moral aspect as if it exists independently, but as a typical bond of parental love between parents and children.

On the basis of the foregoing, commercial surrogacy does not seem unethical. As long as empirical research does not point out that parental love and partner love in both families are systematically disordered by commercial surrogacy, there is no immediate reason to reject it from an ethical point of view.

It can even be argued that commercial surrogacy discloses a possibility for parental love to a child that otherwise had not been there. This does not alter the fact that there still may be personal values that hinder an economist or ethicist to accept moral surrogacy.

This after all may be the consequence of a disclosure of the economic or the ethical towards the pistic aspect. There is moreover another ethical problem that reveals itself in the economic aspect of the family. The economically qualified household is a non-natural society structure that is founded in the historical aspect. This means that it is a historical and cultural phenomenon and does not have a direct relation to the biotic aspect of procreation.

Nevertheless, it can be a question whether households behave economical if they spend their money on commercial surrogacy or earn money from it. Even if such families themselves behave economical with respect to frugality, available surrogate mothers may be scarce such that prices rise and other families will no longer be able to contract a surrogate mother.

economics and ethics relationship

Although this economic inequality is not necessarily uneconomical, it might in certain circumstances be unacceptable for economists who involve the ethical principle of neighbour love in their analyses. Culturally developed societies disclose their economic activity in an ethical direction so that the norms of love are not violated. Corporate social responsibility The second case concerns corporate social responsibility CSR.