Material incentives and Kantian optimisation: John E. Roemer on ‘left-right’ economics
Review of Social Economy, 2019, vol. 77, issue 1, 29-32
John Roemer has argued in favour of rehabilitating Kanitanism as an antidote to the kind of utilitarian incentivisation theories associated with neoliberal economics. This article asks whether the ethical thought of Kant is in fact fit for purpose. Placing Kant in dialogue with other contemporary enlightenment thinkers, it also questions whether ‘solidarist’ social theories solve the problems Roemer associates with their ‘selfish’ competitors, and indeed whether the two approaches can be so neatly distinguished.
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