James R. Otteson

Senior Fellow, Fraser Institute

James R. Otteson, Senior Fellow at the Fraser Institute, is John T. Ryan Jr. Professor of Business Ethics and Faculty Director of the Business Honors Program in the Mendoza College of Business at the University of Notre Dame, and a Senior Scholar at The Fund for American Studies. He received his BA from the Program of Liberal Studies at the University of Notre Dame and his PhD in philosophy from the University of Chicago. He specializes in business ethics, political economy, the history of economic thought, and eighteenth-century moral philosophy. He has taught previously at Wake Forest University, New York University, Yeshiva University, Georgetown University, and the University of Alabama. Prof. Otteson’s books include Adam Smith’s Marketplace of Life (Cambridge, 2002), Actual Ethics (Cambridge, 2006), Adam Smith (Bloomsbury, 2013), The End of Socialism (Cambridge, 2014), The Essential Adam Smith (Fraser Institute, 2018), Honorable Business: A Framework for Business in a Just and Humane Society (Oxford, 2019), and The Essential David Hume (Fraser Institute, 2021). His latest books include Seven Deadly Economic Sins (Cambridge, 2021); and Should Wealth Be Redistributed? A Debate (with Steven McMullen; Routledge, 2022).

Recent Research by James R. Otteson

— Apr 28, 2023
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An Introduction to Socialism vs. Capitalism

An Introduction to Socialism vs. Capitalism, by James R. Otteson, is the latest publication in the Institute’s Realities of Socialism project. This essay sets the terms of the debate between socialism vs. capitalism, detailing how each is properly defined, and allows readers to assess their respective merits and drawbacks.

— Feb 26, 2021
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The Essential David Hume spotlights the fiercely independent Scottish scholar and writer, widely considered the greatest of all “empiricist” philosophers, whose insights on free trade, commercial society and government debt continue have had a lasting influence to this day.

— Feb 26, 2019
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The Essential Adam Smith is a new book, website and video series that presents the ideas of Adam Smith—widely hailed as the founding father of economics—in plain language, using contemporary examples for a new generation.