What Is Morality? The Ethics of Hazlitt

IS_Phil_WMEH — with David Gordon

Cost: $15   Length: 1 Two-Hour Session
Format: Independent Study
Status: Open for enrollment

About the Course

Professor David Gordon remarks: 

Henry Hazlitt is best known as an economist, in particular as the author of the brilliant Economics in One Lesson, but he was also an important, though neglected, ethical theorist. His outstanding book in the field is The Foundations of Morality.

In the book, Hazlitt contended that there was no fundamental opposition between morality and self-interest. Like his friend Ludwig von Mises, Hazlitt saw social cooperation through the free market as central to morality.

I discuss the strengths of this way of looking at ethics and also cover Hazlitt’s sharp criticism of Kant’s ethics. We also examine what Hazlitt has to say about free will and determinism. Hazlitt’s book is written with his characteristic clarity and reading it offers an almost painless way to grasp some of the central topics of ethics.


All readings for this course are free, available online, and provided to students in a fully-hyperlinked syllabus.

Independent Study

Independent study courses are courses that were presented live in the past. These courses are now offered at a discount to anyone who wants to study independently. All courses include lecture recordings, slides, a complete hyper-linked syllabus, automatically-graded quizzes, and a discussion forum. Professors are not available for academic support for these independent study courses.

Sample Certificate of Participation

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