HIGH POINT, N.C., Dec. 2, 2014 – Dr. Joe Blosser, the Robert G. Culp Jr. director of service learning and assistant professor of religion and philosophy at High Point University, recently received nearly $10,000 in a fellowship from the Earhart Foundation. The grant will support his research regarding what it means to be a moral economic actor in a global context.
Blosser’s work brings new life to the moral and economic thought of Adam Smith, who is often revered as the “father of capitalism.” He shows how a vibrant free-market demands not only moral actors, but institutions and governments that seek to foster justice and virtue among its citizens.
“Contrary to what most people think,” says Blosser, “Adam Smith was really worried about how commercialism could feed consumerism, greed and selfishness. Smith’s heart is clearly with the working poor, and his strongest rebukes are saved for wealthy merchants.”
Blosser’s work suggests that truly free-markets require strong communities where businesses and government work alongside people to ensure they are properly educated, entertained and sustained.
As a professor of business ethics at HPU, he believes it’s important for students to understand the different ways people understand economic and social situations.
“I am pursuing this research because, in my opinion, nothing could be more relevant to HPU students,” Blosser says. “While students need to be aware of the morally compromising pressures they will experience as participants in the global economy, I also want them to know the power and responsibly of the private sector to do good.”
About the Earhart Foundation
The Michigan-based Earhart Foundation was founded in 1929 by Harry Boyd Earhart. The foundation offers fellowships and grants – primarily to individual scholars – to support research. The First Principles Journal reports that “Among those supported by Relm-Earhart over the decades have been six Nobel laureates in economics: F. A. Hayek, Milton Friedman, George J. Stigler, James M. Buchanan, Ronald H. Coase, and Gary Becker.”