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And the Real Butchers, Brewers and Bakers? Towards the Integration of Ethics and Economics

Riccardo Baldissone

Abstract

The difficult dialogue between human rights and business shows that neither the adoption of codes of conduct nor the enforcement of legal norms would overcome the supposed incompatibility of ethics and economics. Such a general supposition is the effect of a narrow understanding of economic activities, which in turn is the result of both neoliberal ideology and the traditional externalising approach of economics. I stress the necessity of the integration of ethics and economics, which would require not only the broadening of the economic horizon, but also the redefinition of the status of economic theories. I propose to conceive of this redefinition as a shift of the theoretical allegiance of economic conceptualisations, from the supposedly descriptive natural and social sciences to the discourse of politics.

Published on 15 Apr 2013 in Economic Thought Vol 2, No 1, 2013