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Moral Aspects of Economic Growth, and Other Essays

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Moral Aspects of Economic Growth, and Other Essays

Jr. Moore Barrington

200 Pages
Paperback
ISBN: 9781501726415
Cornell University Press

Barrington Moore, Jr., one of the most distinguished thinkers in critical theory and historical sociology, was long concerned with the prospects for freedom and decency in industrial society. The product of decades of reflection on issues of authority, inequality, and injustice, this volume analyzes fluctuating moral beliefs and behavior in political and economic affairs at different points in history, from the early Middle Ages in England to the prospects for liberalism under twentieth-century Soviet socialism. The social sources of antisocial behavior; principles of social inequality; and the origins, enemies, and possibilities of rational discussion in public affairs—these are among the topics Moore considers as he seeks to uncover the historical causes of some accepted forms of morality and to assess their social consequences.

The keynote essay examines how moral codes grew out of commercial practices in England from medieval times through the industrial revolution. Moore pays special attention to conceptions of honesty and the temptation to evade that inform the volume as a whole. In the other essays, he considers particular political issues, viewing "political" in its broadest sense as an unequal distribution of power and authority that carries a strong moral charge. Free of preaching and advocacy, his work offers a rare reasonable assessment of the morality of major social institutions over time.

Reviews

"Economic sociologists would gain from as well as enjoy reading this collection of essays by Barrington Moore. Social historians would equally appreciate these essays, written by a scholar who has spent many decades researching social aspects of the economy. This book provides important perspectives on moral problems in the everyday life of people living in different economies. The essays explore authority, inequality, and justice."

- Severyn T. Bruyn, Contemporary Sociology

About the Author

The late Barrington Moore Jr. (1913–2005) was a Senior Research Fellow at the Russian Research Center of Harvard University from 1947 to 1979. His most well-known work, and one of the keystones of American sociology, is Social Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy.

This work can be downloaded for non-commercial purposes:

Creative Commons License
Moral Aspects of Economic Growth, and Other Essays is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.