The article redefines economy as a phenomenon of culture, a product of a historically and socially grounded set of values shared by members of a given society. The research shows that culture is not always identical to social utility, because there are multiple examples when archaic, traditionalist, irrational cultural norms hinder social and economic progress and trap nations into poverty and underdevelopment.
The article examines the philosophical and moral foundations of the biggest economist and political philosopher of the 20th century John Maynard Keynes (1883–1946), who played an impor- tant role in rethinking a number of important provisions of the classical political economy and in creating the ideological and methodological basis of the "Keynesian revolution" and of the new eld of economic analysis-macroeconomics. The author traces the main stages in the formation of ethical views of Keynes, shows that his interest in ethics as the system of values in society was dictated by the need for the new conceptual vision of economic realities and by the search of an answer to the main ethical question: "What should we do?".