Utilitarian Economics: A Theory of Immoral Sentiments?

J. Esmond Birnie

Esmond Birnie argues that economic theories based exclusively on the assumption of utility maximization provide too narrow a view of the range of human motivation; such theories have had a mixed record with respect to explaining and predicting behavior, and they also fail to recognize the market exchange is alien to the essential nature of certain social institutions. The Christian teacher of economics should remind students that the imperatives of self-interest need not be allowed to override moral principles. Dr. Birnie is Lecturer in Economics at the Queen's University of Belfast, Northern Ireland.

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Last Updated: November 5, 1999
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