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The Dignity of CommerceMarkets and the Moral Foundations of Contract Law$
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Nathan B. Oman

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780226415529

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226415666.001.0001

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The Moral Consequences of Well-Functioning Markets

The Moral Consequences of Well-Functioning Markets

(p.40) Chapter Three The Moral Consequences of Well-Functioning Markets
The Dignity of Commerce

Nathan B. Oman

University of Chicago Press

This chapter argues that markets are morally valuable for three inter-related reasons. First, markets inculcate certain virtues that support liberal societies. Successful commerce requires seeing the world from a customer's point of view, a process that tends to make people into better citizens. Second, markets provide a framework for productive cooperation without requiring deep moral or political agreement or tribal solidarity. Finally, markets generate wealth, which can have an ameliorative effect on a host of social ills and is the precondition of much of what is desireable in modernity.

Keywords:   moral value of markets, markets, virtue, wealth, pluralism

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