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The Street Porter and the Philosopher

Conversations on Analytical Egalitarianism
Sandra J. Peart and David M. Levy, editors

Leading economists explore the premise that all social interactions are exchanges among inherently equal human beings


Description

Adam Smith, asserting the common humanity of the street porter and the philosopher, articulated the classical economists' model of social interactions as exchanges among equals. This model had largely fallen out of favor until, recently, a number of scholars in the avant-garde of economic thought rediscovered it and rechristened it "analytical egalitarianism." In this volume, Sandra J. Peart and David M. Levy bring together an impressive array of authors to explore the ramifications of this analytical ideal and to discuss the ways in which an egalitarian theory of individuality can enable economists to reconcile ideas from opposite ends of the political spectrum.

"The analytical egalitarianism project that Peart and Levy have advanced has come to occupy a prominent place in the current agenda of historians of economic thought."
---Ross Emmett, Associate Professor of Economics and Co-Director of the Michigan Center for Innovation and Economic Prosperity, Michigan State University

"These essays and dialogs from the Summer Institute would make Adam Smith, economist and moral philosopher, proud."
---J. Daniel Hammond, Hultquist Family Professor of Economics, Wake Forest University

With essays by:
  • James M. Buchanan, Alfred Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences recipient (1985) and Professor Emeritus, George Mason University and Virginia Polytechnic and State University
  • Juan Pablo Couyoumdjian, Universidad del Desearrollo, Chile
  • Tyler Cowen, George Mason University
  • Eric Crampton, University of Canterbury, New Zealand
  • Andrew Farrant, Dickinson College
  • Samuel Hollander, Professor Emeritus, University of Toronto
  • M. Ali Khan, Johns Hopkins University
  • Thomas Leonard, Princeton University
  • Deirdre McCloskey, University of Illinois, Chicago
  • Leonidas Montes, Dean of School of Government, Universidad Adolfo Ibañez, Chile
  • Maria Pia Paganelli, Yeshiva University and New York University
  • Warren J. Samuels, Professor Emeritus, Michigan State University
  • Eric Schliesser, VENI post-doctoral research fellow, Leiden University, and University of Amsterdam
  • Gordon Tullock, George Mason University

Sandra J. Peart is Dean of the Jepson School of Leadership Studies, University of Richmond, Virginia.

David M. Levy is Professor of Economics at George Mason University (GMU) and Research Associate at the Center for Study of Public Choice at GMU.

They are Co-Directors of George Mason University's Summer Institute for the Preservation of the History of Economics.

Praise / Awards

  • "The analytical egalitarianism project that Peart and Levy have advanced has come to occupy a prominent place in the current agenda of historians of economic thought."
    —Ross Emmett, Associate Professor of Economics and Co-Director of the Michigan Center for Innovation and Economic Prosperity, Michigan State University

  • "These essays and dialogs from the Summer Institute would make Adam Smith, economist and moral philosopher, proud."
    —J. Daniel Hammond, Hultquist Family Professor of Economics, Wake Forest University

  • "If you live in the world of 'interesting economics,' this is definitely a book to pick up."
    —Tyler Cowen, Marginal Revolution

  • "Peart and Levy have performed an invaluable service to the engagement of modern social philosophy with economics as well as the development of innovative ways of conceptualizing the modern history of economics. In many respects, they provide a model for how a return to the insights of the great philosopher-economists of the past provides illumination for the future of economic thought and its ability to resolve contemporary political tensions."
    —Dr. Samuel Gregg, Acton Institute, for EH.Net

  • "The most important thing to know about this book is that analytical egalitarianism has very little to do with egalitarianism as most of us understand it. The chapters on the involvement of economists in the eugenics movement are among the most interesting in the book. The authors show that analytical egalitarian assumptions of classical economists were challenged because they failed to incorporate the racist and elitist beliefs that prevailed at the time."
    —Karl Widerquist, University of Reading

Classroom Resources

Discussion Questions | Word doc

Product Details

  • 6.125 x 9.25.
  • 448pp.
  • 14 figs., 6 tables.
Available for sale worldwide

  • Hardcover
  • 2008
  • Available
  • 978-0-472-11644-7

Add to Cart
  • $80.00 U.S.

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Keywords

  • egalitarianism, Adam Smith, John Rawls, James Buchanan, racism, experts, eugenics, economic theory and moral commitment, politics as exchange, ethics

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