The Free Market and the Human Condition

The Free Market and the Human Condition : Essays on Economics and Culture

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Since the Financial Crisis of 2008, there has been and continues to be a debate about the proper role of the free market in the United States and beyond. On one side there are those who defend the free market as a method to provide both wealth and democratic legitimacy; while on the other side are thinkers who reject the orthodoxy of the free market and call for a greater role of government in society to correct its failures. But what is needed in this debate is a return to the vantage point of the human condition to better understand both the free market and our role in it. The Free Market and the Human Condition explores what the human condition can reveal to us about the free market-its strengths, its limits, and its weaknesses-and, in turn, what the free market can illuminate about the essence of the human condition. Because the human condition is multifaceted, this book has adopted an interdisciplinary approach, drawing upon the disciplines of philosophy, theology, archeology, literature, sociology, political science, criminal justice, and education.
Since it is impossible for one to know all aspects of the human condition, the book consists of contributors who approach the topic from their respective disciplines, thereby providing an accumulated picture of the free market and the human condition. Although it does not claim to provide a comprehensive account of the human condition as situated in the free market, The Free Market and the Human Condition transcends the current climate of debate about the free market and provides a way forward in our understanding about the role that free market plays in our society.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 166 pages
  • 152.4 x 231.14 x 17.78mm | 440g
  • Lexington Books
  • Lanham, MD, United States
  • English
  • 0739194747
  • 9780739194744

About Lee Trepanier

Lee Trepanier is professor of political science at Saginaw Valley State University and editor of the Lexington Books series Politics, Literature and Film.
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Review quote

The Free Market and the Human Condition is one of the most original and stimulating volumes on economics and the free market. This volume does more than just discuss economics, however. It seeks an understanding of the human condition and brings an interdisciplinary approach to the topic that transcends the current debates about the free market. The range of disciplines and outstanding roster of expert scholars makes this a must read for anyone interested in understanding economics. -- Khalil M. Habib, Salve Regina University Political crises often bring forth fundamental rethinking of political order. Trepanier and his colleagues make the case that the failure of the discipline of economics-which as a mathematized discipline stands or falls on its capacity to make predictions-to predict the 2008 financial collapse requires the same level of fundamental rethinking with regard to the market. This multidisciplinary volume-that excludes contributions from economists-contains essays that invite us to reconsider those fundamentals of the market economy. Essays consider how Plato illuminates the difference between want and need; how Aristotle illuminates the nature of equality; Catholic notions of freedom versus those of liberalism; the difference between the goods produced by the family and of the market; how business schools recognize the importance of liberal education for their delivery of business education; and the problem of applying economic standards of value to arguably priceless goods. The diversity of disciplines contained in this volume properly takes the study of the market away from the economists and reflects the reality that no single theory or discipline can contain the market. -- John von Heyking, University of Lethbridge This volume offers a welcome opportunity to think about the free market from an interdisciplinary perspective. Moving beyond economic analysis (as well as ideological policy debates), the essays in this impressive collection demonstrate how philosophy, theology, literature, and other disciplines can contribute to our understanding of the free market and its relationship to the whole of human life. Readers will discover new questions and thoughtful insights that will expand their own way of thinking about contemporary economic questions. -- Steven F. McGuire, Eastern University
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Table of contents

Introduction Lee Trepanier Part I: The Philosophical Condition Chapter 2: Forbidden Delicacies: The Ideal City, the Luxurious City, and the Marketplace in Plato's Republic Kirk Fitzpatrick Chapter 3: Aristotle on the Occupy Movement and Financial Inequality Pamela Hood Chapter 4: Communio, Economics, and the Anthropology of Liberalism Jeremy Beer Part II: The Familial Condition Chapter 5: Marriage and the Marketplace in Jane Austen's Emma and Mansfield Park Lee Trepanier Chapter 6: Closing America's "Factory of Individual Character": The Social and Political Consequences of a Bankrupt Home Economy Bryce Christensen Part III: The Public Condition Chapter 7: Why Business Schools Exist: On the Intellectual Origins of Business Schools in Nineteenth Century France and America Peter McNamara Chapter 8: Philosophy, Economics, and the Supply Side of the Archeological Black Market William H. Krieger Chapter 9: Rehabilitation or Incapacitation: The Economics of U.S. Correctional Policy Emily Sullivan
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