Economics as a Moral Science

  • Peter Rona
  • Laszlo Zsolnai

Part of the Virtues and Economics book series (VIEC, volume 1)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xvi
  2. Introduction

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-1
    2. Peter Rona
      Pages 3-9
    3. Laszlo Zsolnai
      Pages 11-18
  3. The Moral Foundations of Economics

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 19-19
    2. Stefano Zamagni
      Pages 21-41
    3. Luk Bouckaert
      Pages 43-56
    4. Laszlo Zsolnai
      Pages 57-67
    5. Hendrik Opdebeeck
      Pages 69-77
    6. Knut J. Ims
      Pages 79-93
  4. Companies and Their Management

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 129-129
    2. Peter Rona
      Pages 131-162
    3. David W. Miller, Michael J. Thate
      Pages 163-173
    4. Kevin T. Jackson
      Pages 175-197
  5. Economic Policy and Economic Development

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 213-213
    2. Johan Verstraeten
      Pages 215-223
    3. François Lépineux, Jean-Jacques Rosé
      Pages 249-267
  6. Conclusions

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 269-269
    2. Peter Rona, Laszlo Zsolnai
      Pages 271-274
  7. Back Matter
    Pages 275-280

About this book


The book is reclaiming economics as a moral science. It argues that ethics is a relevant and inseparable aspect of all levels of economic activity, from individual and organizational to societal and global. Taking ethical considerations into account is needed in explaining and predicting the behavior of economic agents as well as in evaluating and designing economic policies and mechanisms. 

The unique feature of the book is that it not only analyzes ethics and economics on an abstract level, but puts behavioral, institutional and systemic issues together for a robust and human view of economic functioning. It sees economic “facts” as interwoven with human intentionality and ethical content, a domain where utility calculations and moral considerations co-determine the behavior of economic agents and the outcomes of their activities. 

The book employs the personalist approach that sees human persons – endowed with free will and conscience – as the basic agents of economic life and defines human flourishing as the final end of economic activities. The book demonstrates that economics can gain a lot in meaning and also in analytical power by reuniting itself with ethics.  


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Editors and affiliations

  • Peter Rona
    • 1
  • Laszlo Zsolnai
    • 2
  1. 1.Blackfriars HallUniversity of OxfordOxfordUnited Kingdom
  2. 2.European SPES InstituteCorvinus University of Budapest, Budapest, HungaryLeuvenBelgium

Bibliographic information