Ethical Dimensions of the Economy

Making Use of Hegel and the Concepts of Public and Merit Goods

  • Wilfried Ver Eecke

Part of the Studies in Economics Ethics and Philosophy book series (SEEP)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages I-XIII
  2. Introduction

    1. Pages 1-11
  3. Normative Reflections on the Economy

  4. Applications

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 147-147
    2. Reflections on the Political Economy in the US

    3. Challenges in Transforming Command Economies

    4. Philosophy of Economics and Catholic Social Thought

  5. Back Matter
    Pages 257-304

About this book


This book reflects philosophically about the socio-political dimension of economics.

Part I provides normative reflections on the economy: Section I reflects on the interconnections between the multiple discourses on the economy, section II presents Hegel's claim that the economic order is an ethical institution and defends his ontological view of the economy against the one of Adam Smith. Section III dialogues with economists about their concepts of public and merit goods. This section defends a Hegelian ontology of the economy through an analysis of technical concepts used by economists.

Part II provides applications derived from the normative analysis: Section I presents the views of authors in different academic disciplines pointing to failures in late capitalism, in particular failures of American capitalism and section II asks the question: " What must one pay attention to in a transition from a command economy to a free market?"

Section III draws attention to an overlap of ideas found in Catholic Social Thought and in the publications of some recent Nobel prize winners in economics (Buchanan, Sen, Stiglitz).


Adam Smith Ethical Economy Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel Government Merit Goods Public Goods Religion morality philosophy political economy politics

Authors and affiliations

  • Wilfried Ver Eecke
    • 1
  1. 1.Georgetown University Washington D.C.Washington, DCUSA

Bibliographic information