258 REVIEWS Austrian neutrality vs. Aristotelian virtues O’Neill’s subject—the market—comprises ‘social and institutional arrangements through which goods are regularly produced for, distributed by and subject to contractual forms of exchange in which money and property rights over goods are transferred between agents.’ By the precepts of Austrian school politics, the market (i) is an amoral, arational, non- economic, non-teleological institution which offers no judgement of the end-states that it fosters and (ii) affords a framework for the peaceful co-existence of individuals with diverse goals. These precepts support an ethos of benign neutrality which rivals the perfectionist account of political and social institutions; i.e., the Aristotelian conception of an economy with virtuous objectives. These opposing paradigms of political theory point to different values in negative liberty; it is a prerequisite for either (i) neutrality: with an accommodation of different perceptions of the good, or (ii) perfectionism: with an inducement to character building. However, the author identiﬁes three (not two) issues: (i) ‘the powers and dispositions of character’ needed to become an autonomous person; (ii) the freedom from coercion needed to exercise that autonomy; and (iii) the material means needed to effect action. He argues that the blurring of the ﬁrst
The Review of Austrian Economics – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 6, 2004
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