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By Irene van Staveren

In his Ethics, Aristotle argued that humans try and extra a number of values by means of balancing them, declaring that folks try and discover a center highway among extra and deficiency. the writer develops and applies this concept to the values of economics, arguing that during the financial system; freedom, justice and care also are balanced to extra ends with scarce skill. Freedom is furthered via marketplace trade, justice via a redistributive function of the nation, and care via mutual presents of labour and sharing of assets within the economy.The booklet argues that economics is, and has regularly been, approximately human values, which advisor, permit, constrain and alter financial behaviour.

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Hayek 1960:76) Like Hayek, Milton and Rose Friedman also argue that at the individual level responsibility is a necessary accompanying value for freedom. : 32). But Friedman and Friedman do not develop the role of responsibility, so we cannot see how it relates to their forceful rejection of the state, nor to their instrumental idea of economic behaviour. They do, however, seem to suggest that responsibility is not an element in a utility function, but rather part of the character of economic actors.

Rather, emotions help sustain people’s commitments. They express one’s care for one’s valuable ends. Elster rightly argues for recognition of their role in our adherence to the ends we value in life. This, presumably, is why artists are artists, scientists scientists, and so on. They do not engage in art or science to get a thrill, but to ‘get it right’, and yet the thrill they get when they get it right strengthens their motivation to do this kind of work. (Elster 1983:107) For scientists it is a peculiar mix of emotions and rewards that seems to support their commitment to science, as Deirdre McCloskey asserts: ‘The human scientists pursue persuasiveness, prettiness, the resolution of puzzlement, the conquest of recalcitrant details, the feeling of a job well done, and the honour and income of office’ (McCloskey 1985:46).

Or is freedom still cherished by many economists as an important value in itself? To answer this question I will take a closer look at two exemplary economic texts that unveil a commitment to liberty. This will refute the cynicism of Joan Robinson’s question: economists do appear to care about freedom as an end in itself. However, by exposing their shared commitment and their emotional attachment to freedom, and through their persuasive rhetoric, they prove Robinson right in her assessment that value resides at 26 PARADOXES OF VALUE the social level, where it is shared with others: ‘value is a relationship between people’ (Robinson 1962:32).

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