This short, accessible book will raise the quality of the debate in both philosophy and the social sciences.
Author: Allen E. Buchanan
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield
This clear and incisive book provides the ideal critical synthesis of the best thinking on one of the most important moral, social, and political issues of our time: the role of the market as a basic institution of social organization. It articulates the two main types of arguments for and against the market--efficiency arguments and ethical arguments--and examines their conceptual, empirical, and moral presuppositions, as well as their implications for capitalist, socialist, and market-socialist economic arragements. Among the many striking features of the argument is Buchanan's contention that the allegedly purely technical notions of efficiency current in the social science literature rest on unexamined ethical assumptions and that the ethical arguments offered by philosophers and political theorists depend upon unexamined assumptions about efficiency. Buchanan also contends that the problem of relativism for judgments comparing social systems is no less serious for efficiency claims than for ethical claims. This short, accessible book will raise the quality of the debate in both philosophy and the social sciences. It is an ideal introduction to its subject for students in political and social theory, economics, comparative politics, and philosophy.