The "Vanity of the Philosopher": From Equality to Hierarchy in Post-Classical Economics
Sandra Peart, David M. LevyISBN: 0472114964;
The "Vanity of the Philosopher" continues the themes introduced in Levy's acclaimed book How the Dismal Science Got Its Name . Here, Peart and Levy tackle the issues of racism, eugenics, hierarchy, and egalitarianism in classical economics and take a broad view of classical economics' doctrine of human equality. Responding to perennial accusations from the left and the right that the market economy has created either inequality or too much equality, the authors trace the role of the eugenics movement in pulling economics away from the classical economist's respect for the individual toward a more racist view at the turn of the century. The "Vanity of the Philosopher" reveals the consequences of hierarchy in social science. It shows how the "vanity of the philosopher" has led to recommendations that range from the more benign but still objectionable "looking after" paternalism, to overriding preferences, and, in the extreme, to eliminating...