Two worlds

by Russ Roberts on August 9, 2007

in Family, Prices

Here is a very nice essay by GMU student Geoffrey Lea on Hayek’s argument that we need to behave differently when we interact with friends and family compared to the strangers we meet in the extended order of market transactions.

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{ 4 comments }

Steve Horwitz August 9, 2007 at 10:34 am

Very nice piece by Geoff. Folks who enjoyed it might wish to check out two papers of mine addressing many of the same themes:

The Functions of the Family in the Great Society

and

Two Worlds at Once: Rand, Hayek, and the Ethics of the Micro and Macro-cosmos.

Tim August 9, 2007 at 11:16 am

An interesting essay. Given his quote of Adam Smith, I would wonder how Geoff reconciles his view with the idea of the "impartial spectator" in Smith's Theory of Moral Sentiments.

My take is that the impartial spectator may ultimately move us toward treating both friends/family and strangers in like manner. But there certainly is a difference in how we value the approval/disapproval of those we know/respect, and those we don't view in the same light.

trumpetbob15 August 9, 2007 at 3:42 pm

An interesting paper. It reminds me of a philosophy class I took in college where we read an Ayn Rand essay (I can't remember the title) and then discussed whether somebody should save a loved one if drowning or a group of ten strangers, if the possibility was one or the other. This paper would have made a great companion to Rand's essay showing the difference between the loved one and ten strangers and might have helped my classmates understand Rand's essay better.

Ray G August 10, 2007 at 11:27 pm

Dennis Prager often discusses the micro and macro in this context on his radio show. Very good stuff.

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