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March 23 , 2008

The Free Market and the Human Condition

Essays on Economics and Culture


Since the Financial Crisis of 2008, there has been and continues to be a debate about the proper role of the free market in the United States and beyond. On one side there are those who defend the free market as a method to provide both wealth and democratic legitimacy; while on the other side are thinkers who reject the orthodoxy of the free market and call for a greater role of government in society to correct its failures. But what is needed in this debate is a return to the vantage point of the human condition to better understand both the free market and our role in it. The Free Market and the Human Condition explores what the human condition can reveal to us about the free market—its strengths, its limits, and its weaknesses—and, in turn, what the free market can illuminate about the essence of the human condition. Because the human condition is multifaceted, this book has adopted an interdisciplinary approach, drawing upon the disciplines of philosophy, theology, archeology, literature, sociology, political science, criminal justice, and education. Since it is impossible for one to know all aspects of the human condition, the book consists of contributors who approach the topic from their respective disciplines, thereby providing an accumulated picture of the free market and the human condition. Although it does not claim to provide a comprehensive account of the human condition as situated in the free market, The Free Market and the Human Condition transcends the current climate of debate about the free market and provides a way forward in our understanding about the role that free market plays in our society.
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