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Kantian Ethics and Economics: Autonomy, Dignity and Character Hardcover – 15 May 2011


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"Here we have a robust, well-conceived and serious book. It is a breath of fresh air, which improves understanding of preference structures in economic decision models that are better suited to the reality of normal economic science ... this is a well-penned text from a literary perspective; it exudes dexterity, fluency, and boasts a refined sense of humor." - Jose Fernandez, Ethical Perspectives "White objects that the emphasis on inclinations and beliefs makes economics careless of rights, dignity, and autonomy ... His book is a careful reproach to a discipline too often oblivious to individual rights because they are preoccupied by aggregate market efficiency ... Economists reading White's book will find much to value." - David Weissman, Clio "Mark D. White's book on Kantian Ethics and Economics is an outstanding example of mastery in both fields... [A] treatise written in a way that is accessible to graduates and to all economists, increasing the reader's knowledge without being too demanding in terms of pre-existing knowledge." - Stefano Solari, Review of Social Economy "This remarkable book provides a new ethical perspective for economics based on Kantian ethics of autonomy and dignity ... [It] is clearly written, and the author has upheld the interdisciplinary appeal of the topic, demonstrating an outstanding knowledge of the vast literature on ethics (both Kantian and not) and economics. White's emphasis on the irreducibility of moral principles is absolutely relevant for current economics and political debates." - Ivan Boldyrev, Journal of the History of Philosophy "This interesting book presents itself as an introduction to economists of the moral philosophy of Immanuel Kant ... [T]he reference point from which the author develops his critique of the ethical foundations of mainstream economics is quite a sophisticated ... view of Kant's conception of morality." - Nicolas Gravel, Erasmus Journal for Philosophy and Economics

About the Author

Mark D. White is Professor in the Department of Political Science, Economics, and Philosophy at the College of Staten Island and The Graduate Center, CUNY. He has edited several books, the most recent of which are "Accepting the Invisible Hand" and "The Thief of Time."

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
can economics makes sense of "autonomy"? 9 July 2013
By art5 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
The book is an impressively in-depth account of Kant's ethics and how it contrasts with--or can augment--the view of human nature proposed in economics. There are few texts that are as comprehensive in the examination of the literature (on moral theory and economics), and there is no author that understands both Kant's writings on ethics (including the scholarship on Kant) and the economic view of human nature as well as White. He also brings Kant's moral theory to bear on the economics of law and behavioral economics. In Chapter 5, he nicely covers an increasingly poignant issue today, the use of behavioral economics in designing social policy and what this means for individual autonomy. I highly recommend the book for students of economics and philosophy or law, or those interested in the motivating philosophy of economic policies (especially of the libertarian ilk). It identifies key points of conflict in the ways of thinking that may go undetected in a training focused in one discipline.
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