Arising from a disenchantment with mainstream economics - a dissatisfaction that is widespread today - A Short History of Ethics and Economics sketches the emergence and decline of the ethical tradition of economics and the crisis of modern economics. In doing so, James Alvey focuses on four of the leading ancient Greek thinkers: Socrates, Xenophon, Plato and Aristotle.
The author uses insights from Amartya Sen's Capabilities approach as well as other sources to retrieve the ethical tradition of economics. Five aspects of this tradition which seem to lie outside of mainstream economics are identified: an ethical methodology; some notion of a just price; an understanding that ethical motivations are relevant to human action; a rich understanding of human well-being; and some notion of distributive justice related to human well-being.
Creating a forum for further debate and research opportunity, this book will appeal to students, scholars and historians of economic thought, as well as to all those interested in the intersection of ethics with economics.
James E. Alvey, School of Economics and Finance, Massey University, New Zealand
Contents: 1. Introduction 2. An Introduction to Ancient Greek Political Economy 3. An Introduction to the Socratics: Socrates and Xenophon 4. Plato Part I: The `Early' and `Middle' Dialogues 5. Plato Part II: The `Late' Dialogues 6. Aristotle Part I: Ethics 7. Aristotle Part II: Politics (High and Low) 8. Aristotle Part III: Economics 9. Conclusion References Index