October 11, 2005

The Vanity of the Philosopher: From Equality to Hierarchy in Post-Classical Economics

  • David Levy

    Professor of Economics, George Mason University
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The Vanity of the Philosopher reveals the consequences of heirarchy in social science. It shows how the vanity of the philosopher has led to recomendations that range from the more benign but still objectionable "looking after" paternalism to overriding preferences, and, in the extreme, to eliminating purportedly bad preferences. The authors suggest that an approach that abstracts from difference and presumes equal competence is morally compelling.