Economics & the Cultivation of Virtue lecture series

The London School of Economics and Political Science

In his 2017 Robbins Lectures, Professor Jeffrey D. Sachs will argue for a new Moral Economics built firmly on the foundations of the new moral sciences. The goal of moral economics is to promote wellbeing. A core principle is the cultivation of individual and group virtue to help guide the behavior of both individuals and groups in the global society.

Lecture 1. Economics and the New Moral Sciences During the past half century, a new moral science has emerged through the integration of research findings in several fields, including: Evolutionary Biology, Psychology, Neuroscience, Game Theory, Philosophy, Economics, Politics, and History. The findings of the new moral science require a reformulation of the aims and methods of economics. A key lesson is the need to place moral thinking and the cultivation of virtue back at the center of economic design and policy.

The two other lectures that are part of this series are on Tuesday 14 and Wednesday 15 February.

Lecture 2. The Hard Problem of Inter-Group Morality The most difficult moral challenges involve the interaction across groups, whether nation states, private companies, or ethnic groups. In all such cases, there is the deep tendency towards inter-group conflict. The cultivation of group virtue to underpin inter-group peace and cooperation is an especially daunting challenge.

Lecture 3. Cultivating the Virtues of Globalization Global society is at once deeply interconnected and deeply divided across political, religious, class, ethnic, and linguistic lines. These divides not only threaten prosperity but even human survival. The third lecture considers the virtues needed for globalization and the ways to cultivate them.

Jeffrey D Sachs (@JeffDSachs) is Professor of Economics at Columbia University, a leader in sustainable development, senior UN advisor, bestselling author and syndicated columnist.

Read the news release: London School of Economics and Political Science. (2017, Februrary 13). Economics and the cultivation of virtue [Video file]. Rtrieved from

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