The Good, the Bad, and the Profitable: The Complex Interaction Between Morality and the Marketplace

Paul Hurley
Claremont McKenna College
January 11th, 2007, 4:00 to 5:30 pm
Bentley 140

paul_hurley_aIt is a common view that in the marketplace nice people finish last, greed is good, and those who don’t stand out in the single-minded pursuit of profits are invariably stood upon. But economists from Adam Smith to Nobel Prize winners such as Kenneth Arrow and Amartya Sen have argued that markets can function effectively only if most of those participating in them are an in important respect nice people, and the history of corporate America is littered with the carcasses of companies that have apparently been done in by the single-minded pursuit of profits. Clearly, the interactions between morality and the marketplace are complex.

Dr. Hurley will draw upon sources of insight ranging from Immanuel Kant to Salomon Brothers, and from Adam Smith to Warren Buffett, in an effort to shed light upon some of the central features of these complex interactions.

Paul Hurley is a professor of philosophy at Claremont McKenna College in Claremont, California

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