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No Harm: Ethical Principles for a Free Market

No Harm: Ethical Principles for a Free Market
2.00 lbs



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Index , Notes , Bibliography
$24.95 (24.95)
Clear arguments and a clearly stated alternative
“This is an important book, a high hurdle for the soft-minded. In clean prose and clear arguments, Patrick Burke makes a formidable case that much of what is done today in the name of compassion and good intentions causes harm. And he offers a clearly stated alternative.”–Michael Novak, American Enterprise Institute

Provides a valuable and illuminating synthesis
“Burke offers compelling arguments that the free market is not only more efficient, but is morally superior to central planning and regulation. The book provides a valuable and illuminating synthesis of economies, political theory, political philosophy, and ethics.”–Fred Miller, Director, Center for Ethics and Public Policy, Bowling Green State University

A rousing defense of individual liberty
No Harm is a rousing defense of individual liberty, especially as it bears on our economic lives, on production, commerce, trade, and related business endeavors. The work should be a major contribution to the advance not only of the understanding of the free society but its eventually triumph in the contest among political economic ideals.”–Tibor R. Machan, Department of Philosophy, Auburn University, Alabama

Written with verve and authority
“A spirited defense of marketplace economics written with verve and authority.”–Murray Friedman, Director of the Center for American Jewish History

Free from government regulation
In this hard-hitting but measured and carefully reasoned book, Burke contends that the economic marketplace should be completely free from government regulation, except for third-party effects, such as the environment. Government defends its regulation of the market mainly on ethical grounds, especially the need for fairness.
Burke powerfully argues that this reasoning is misguided, that buyers and sellers should be free to make or not make whatever agreements they wish, so long as fraud and force are avoided.

No Harm illuminates the economic issues with insightful emphasis on the moral dimension. Basing his argument on the Principle of Mutual Benefit and the Principle of No Harm, Burke contends that buyers and sellers make exchanges only because they expect to benefit, a truth which must apply to both sides of every exchange. This applies even where the benefit is small, unequal, or even merely relative. Through his detailed examination, Burke vindicates the Principle of Mutual Benefit against the numerous attempts to restrict and eviscerate it.

The Principle of No Harm as Burke formulates it states that persons who cause no harm ought not to be harmed, that those who cause harm to the innocent deserve to be punished, and correspondingly that those who do not cause harm deliberately ought not to be punished. This threefold principle, he argues, represents our most
basic ethical intuition.

A valuable feature of the book is Burke’s detailed examination of the concept of causation as it applies to the causing of harm–a concept widely used in law, and widely distorted in modem liberal analyses of economic relations. No Harm offers a compelling case that a free market economy is essential to sound political and
social ethics.

T. PATRICK BURKE is professor of religion at Temple University and author of The Fragile Universe and The Reluctant Vision

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