Markets, Productivity, and Happiness in a Historical Perspective

The Market in the Kingdom of Ends: Toward a Kantian Normative Economics

Santori Paolo, Tilburg University

Kant’s moral philosophy is often advocated to assess the morally base nature of the market sphere. Markets and morality are at the antipodes since the instrumentality of market transactions undermines moral values. The kingdom of ends, where everything has either a price or a dignity, closes its doors to the market logic. The present paper challenges this view. I will show that Kant imagined a market within the kingdom of ends where everyone pursues her own aims while assisting the others to pursue theirs. This model, built on the universalization of the maxim of mutual assistance, can be employed to judge the morality of real (empirical) market transactions.

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Keywords: Kant; Kingdom of Ends; Normative Economics; Mutual Assistance

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