Journal of Business Ethics

, Volume 84, Issue 2, pp 209–219

Aristotle’s Natural Wealth: The Role of Limitation in Thwarting Misordered Concupiscence



I argue that Aristotle’s approach to the proper type of acquisition, use-value, want, and accumulation/storage of wealth is oriented less to excluding commercial activity, such as that of Aristotle's Athens, than to forestalling misordered concupiscence – the taking of an inherently limited good for the unlimited, or highest, good. That is, his moral aversion to taking a means for an end lies behind his rendering of the sort of wealth that is natural. By stressing the limited nature of natural wealth, Aristotle distinguishes such wealth qua limited from an artificial unlimited desire for profit in order to drive home his point that wealth ought not be taken as an objective good (i.e., good in itself).


ethical theory natural wealth Aristotle greed ancient philosophy golden age justice 


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.MadisonU.S.A.

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