Antipeponthos and reciprocity: the concept of equivalent exchange from Aristotle to Turgot



In modern discussions of reciprocity the concept is distinguished from that of self-interested exchange. In the problem of value in exchange, however, as set up in Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics the concept of reciprocity (antipeponthos) as equivalent exchange was central in commercial transactions. The paper discusses (1) the concept of antipeponthos in Aristotle, (2) how issues of trust and inequality of services provided were dealt in Aristotle and (3) the trajectory of the concept of equivalent exchange from Aristotle to Turgot.


Reciprocity Equivalent Exchange Antipeponthos 

JEL Classifications




I wish to thank the organisers of the Verbania Reciprocity Conference for their hospitality, Professor Pier-Luigi Porta who was the discussant of my paper at the conference for his very helpful comments and Professors Luigino Bruni and Yanis Varoufakis for very stimulating discussions on the concept of reciprocity. I also like to acknowledge my considerable intellectual debt to Scott Meikle’s work on the economic thought of Aristotle.


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© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of EconomicsNational and Kapodistrian University of AthensAthensGreece

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