The Review of Austrian Economics

, Volume 30, Issue 3, pp 365–375 | Cite as

A social morality for mortals: A review essay of the order of public reason: A theory of freedom and morality in a diverse and bounded world

  • Peter J. BoettkeEmail author
  • Rosolino A. Candela


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.”


Gerald Gaus Israel Kirzner Socialist calculation debate Political economy 

JEL classification

B2 B53 P16 



We would like to thank Douglas Den Uyl, Douglas Rasmussen, and Solomon Stein for their helpful comments on an earlier draft of this paper.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of EconomicsGeorge Mason UniversityFairfaxUSA

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