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Globalization, Markets, And Ethics

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Chapter Summary

This chapter briefly surveys the political and economic issues posed by the debate over globalization and then reformulates them with reference to the problematic relation between markets and ethics in the history of philosophy. Beginning with Aristotle, and then proceeding to Adam Smith, Immanuel Kant, and G.W.F. Hegel, the chapter argues that markets always and everywhere presuppose normative consensus, with the implication that any notion of autonomous globalizing markets is an abstraction that threatens the human right to life and dignity. It also discusses difference between Hegel and Kant that confronts with the fundamental issue posed by globalization. The purely self-interested march of technology and commerce, not philosophical Reason, is driving globalization, and the resulting universal market is "naturally" devoid of ethical content.

Keywords: Adam Smith; Aristotle; autonomous globalizing markets; ethical life; G.W.F. Hegel; Globalization; human right; Immanuel Kant



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