Date of Award

5-2015

Degree Type

Honors College Thesis

Department

Political Science, International Development, and International Affairs

First Advisor

Edward Sayre, Ph.D.

Advisor Department

Political Science, International Development, and International Affairs

Abstract

The economic discipline, in studying humans, relies on economic philosophers’ theories and understanding of the human person. One of Adam Smith’s most basic tenants was that man is self-interested. This thesis explores the profound implications this has had on those who study economics and what research in behavioral economics implies about its effect on life satisfaction. Catholic Social Teaching is the Roman Catholic Church’s collection of criticisms for practicing the neo-scholastic virtue ethic in social life. If self-interest is emphasized above man’s social nature, which was Smith’s second tenant, economics ignores a non-trivial portion of man’s motivation. Because irrational behaviors such as altruism and cooperation are correlated with higher life satisfaction, Catholic Social Teaching’s perspective of virtue ethics in economics will be analyzed.

Included in

Economics Commons

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