Elizabeth Anderson offers a new theory of value and rationality that rejects cost–benefit analysis in our social lives and in our ethical theories. This account of the plurality of values thus offers a new approach, beyond welfare economics and traditional theories of justice, for assessing the ethical limitations of the market. In this light, Anderson discusses several contemporary controversies involving the proper scope of the market, including commercial surrogate motherhood, privatization of public services, and the application of cost–benefit analysis to issues of environmental protection.
Anderson is anxious to combat what she sees as a tendency for commercial values to invade areas of human life where they do not belong… A useful contribution to debate about the proper scope of the market.
Not everything is a commodity, insists Anderson, and her brief should shake up social science technocrats.
The book is rich in both argument and application.
In this rich and insightful book Elizabeth Anderson develops an original account of value and rational action and then employs this account to address the pragmatic political question of what the proper range of the market should be. Anderson’s principal targets are consequentialism, monism and the crude ‘economistic’ reasoning which underpins much contemporary social policy… This is an important book… For anyone interested in political philosophy this is essential reading.
- 262 pages
- 6 x 9-1/4 inches
- Harvard University Press
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