This book takes a multi-disciplinary critique of economics’ first principles: the fundamental and inter-related structuring assumptions that underlie the neo-classical paradigm. These assumptions, that economic agents are rational, self-interested individuals, continue to influence the teaching of economics, research agendas and policy analyses. The book argues that both the theoretical understanding of the economy and the actual working of real-world market economies diminish the scope for thinking about the relation between ethics, economics, and the economy. It highlights how market economies may "crowd out" ethical behavior and our evaluation of them elides ethical reflection.

The book calls for a more pluralistic and richer approach to economic theory, one that allows ample room for ethical considerations. It provides insight into understanding human motivations and human flourishing and how a good economy requires reflection on the ethical relations between the self, world, and time.

chapter |9 pages


chapter 1|24 pages

Needs and scarcity

chapter 2|15 pages

Rationality and economic theory

chapter 3|20 pages

The ethical limits of markets

chapter 4|27 pages

Individualism and the self

chapter 5|25 pages


Self-interest, sympathy and commitment

chapter 6|16 pages

An unequal world 1

chapter 7|26 pages

Do markets crowd out ethics?

chapter 8|19 pages

Climate change and ethics 1

chapter 9|20 pages

Time and economics

chapter 10|16 pages

Civil economy

Re-imagining an ethical economy 1