5 Aug, 09 | by Søren Holm
I would have liked to be able to say that if you only read one book this summer you should read “Handbook of Econonomics and Ethics” and if I was only writing about the contents I would surely say that.
This is one of the most interesting books I have come across for years and its 75 chapters covers most of the important intersections between economics and ethics, primarily seen from the point of view of economics. For someone like me with a background in ethics it is interesting to see how orthodox economics struggles with concepts like “altruism” or how non-consequentialist theories of ethics are all, in their own way completely incompatible with orthodox economic thinking. Another set of very interesting chapters are the chapters discussing the main figures in economics and ethics.
This is a book that repays careful study and a ration of 2-4 chapters per day is probably about right.
Unfortunately it is also a very expensive book. One hundred and sixty British pounds (160 GBP) for a book of 624 pages is rather extortionate, even though it is a nice hardback and you can get 10% off if you order directly from the publisher. So my advice will have to be modified. If you only read one book this summer AND your library has a copy of “Handbook of Ethics and Economics” then borrow it ASAP and make that the book you read.
Link to the publishers web-site http://www.e-elgar.com/Bookentry_Main.lasso?id=4252