edited by Robin Cowan and Mario J. Rizzo
University of Chicago Press, 1995
Cloth: 978-0-226-11632-7
Library of Congress Classification HB601.P8854 1995
Dewey Decimal Classification 174.4

Are profits morally justifiable? While neoclassical economists have traditionally endorsed the pursuit of profits, many moral philosophers have challenged profit making on a variety of ethical grounds. Through the lenses of economics, philosophy, and law, these six essays explore the morality of profits from libertarian, utilitarian, and consequentialist perspectives.

Presenting arguments for and against the morality of profit making, the contributors examine the nature of profits and which ethical theories can support them. Two essays address how profits are made: one explores entrepreneurship as a legitimate source of profit, while another argues that recent advances in welfare economics weaken the case for the morality of profits. The other chapters focus on ethical theory, covering the right to profits from economic rent; the morality of how profits are used—those directed toward library or university endowments, for example, are considered morally acceptable—and whether or not profits are deserved.

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