Automotive Holiday Deals Books Gift Guide Books Gift Guide Shop Men's Athletic Shoes Learn more nav_sap_plcc_6M_fly_beacon Adele egg_2015 Fire TV Stick Subscribe & Save Martha Stewart American Made Amazon Gift Card Offer minions minions minions  Amazon Echo Starting at $84.99 Kindle Black Friday Deals Entertainment Collectibles Shop Now HTL

Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.

The Foundations of Morality 3rd Edition

4 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1572460720
ISBN-10: 1572460725
Why is ISBN important?
This bar-code number lets you verify that you're getting exactly the right version or edition of a book. The 13-digit and 10-digit formats both work.
Scan an ISBN with your phone
Use the Amazon App to scan ISBNs and compare prices.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Buy used
Condition: Used - Good
In Stock. Sold by Motor_City_Books
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: Minimal damage to cover and binding. Pages show light use. With pride from Motor City. All books guaranteed. Best Service, Best Prices.
Access codes and supplements are not guaranteed with used items.
20 Used from $1.31
+ $3.99 shipping
More Buying Choices
11 New from $40.00 20 Used from $1.31
Free Two-Day Shipping for College Students with Amazon Student Free%20Two-Day%20Shipping%20for%20College%20Students%20with%20Amazon%20Student

--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Get Up to 80% Back Rent Textbooks

Hero Quick Promo
Holiday Deals in Kindle Books
Save up to 85% on more than 1,000 Kindle Books. These deals are valid until November 30, 2015. Learn more

Product Details

  • Paperback: 398 pages
  • Publisher: Foundation for Economic Education; 3 edition (June 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1572460725
  • ISBN-13: 978-1572460720
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 6 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,697,156 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By D. W. MacKenzie on December 6, 2007
Format: Paperback
The Foundations of Morality could be seen as an additional chapter to Human Action, by Ludwig von Mises. Mises adopted a utilitarian stance on ethical issues, but Hazlitt wrote a detailed explanation of what Austrian economics implies about utilitarian ethics. Social cooperation under the division of labor is moral because it makes improvements in human welfare possible. Hazlitt ignored all of the false comparisons that mainstream economists of the mid 20th made between real imperfect markets and idealized views of government. Markets enable people to improve their lives, while never achieving perfection. The market process is progressive, and government regulation leads to stagnation and even decline. Moral rules work to minimize conflict and promote social cooperation. "The system of capitalism is a system of freedom, of justice, of productivity". Hazlitt understood Mises and knew how to bring his economics into discussions of natural rights, act utilitarianism, and rule utilitarianism.

Hazlitt also brings the issue of time preference into the discussion of ethics. The idea that immorality derives from high discount rates is so simple that one has to wonder how nobody thought of it before Hazlitt (at least as far as I know). Yet this is a profound insight. Hazlitt is not remembered as a great scholar, but there are few scholars who can claim to have hit upon such an insight.

Whether you agree with Hazlitt or not, any reasonable person should admit that this is a well thought out book. This book is a must read for anyone interested in ethics and economics. Unfortunately, Hazlitt does not have enough of a reputation to get the attention he deserves. There is an abridged version for those who want to economize on their time, but either way, read this book!
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Steve Jackson on October 5, 2002
Format: Paperback
Henry Hazlitt was the author of 17 books. He is best known in libertarian and conservative circles for his outstanding, ECONOMICS IN ONE LESSON. He also wrote a fascinating book on ethics entitles, THE FOUNDATIONS OF MORALITY.
This is a comprehensive work on the foundations of ethics. According to Hazlitt, the foundation of morality is social cooperation and from this principle he develops a variation of rule utilitarianism. Drawing upon the free enterprise tradition in general and the economic theory of von Mises in particular, Hazlitt argues that actions are good that promote social happiness, and the best way to achieve this is through the free enterprise system. Hazlit therefore rejects other approaches to ethics, such as natural law or religious based morality.
The best portion of this work is how Hazlitt relates utilitarianism and self-interest. One argument against utilitarianism is that by making the social good the basis of morality, all self-interest and initiative is destroyed. But as Hazlitt shows, those acts that are in our own self-interest tend to increase the overall happiness of society. If all my acts had to motivated by a desire to save starving people in the four corners of the world, neither they nor I would be likely be any better off as a result.
After he describes the foundations of ethics, he takes up some practical issues. For example, there are two outstanding chapters which discuss the relative morality of capitalism and socialism.
This book contains a brief introduction by Prof. Leland Yeager, who has written a book on ethics from a similar perspective entitled, ETHICS AS A SOCIAL SCIENCE: THE MORAL PHILOSOPHY OF SOCIAL COOPERATION. For a different view on ethics from a libertarian perspective, check out Murray Rothbard's, THE ETHICS OF LIBERTY.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Mikekikon on August 14, 2011
Format: Paperback
A logical, rational, and refreshingly unpretentious explanation of morality that doesn't fall victim to crass oversimplification, mysticism, or myopia, and which incorporates many of the best insights of previous moral philosophers while successfully debunking so many of the accompanying myths that don't stand up to analysis. It is so refreshing to read a book on ethics that actually takes the principles of economics into account.

Hazlitt takes what most of us already seem to intuitively understand about the utilitarian nature of morality (as revealed through our preferences and implicit in the way that we argue our moral views), and helps put these intuitions into a logical framework that brings impressive clarity and comprehension to the great moral mysteries. In so doing, we discover that the common man is often closer to understanding the truth than the moral philosophers who make it their business!

One of the great things about Hazlitt's perspective (and I am tempted to in fact call it the correct one) is that it presents an objective case for morality (explaining its _foundations_) without dismissing the realities of moral conflict and ambiguity. Hazlitt's special brand of rule-utilitarianism (or "Mutualism") still allows for much reasonable debate over what the precise rules are that will in fact be most socially (and thus individually) beneficial in the long run, although he certainly gives us some solid pointers to that end.

Hazlitt has some really brilliant sections in here, most notably his chapter on "The Moral Criterion" and the final chapter which, taken together, provide a succinct overview of his moral framework. The writing is generally clear and understandable for any reader.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?