Ethics, Economic Organizations, and Human Flourishing: Lessons from Plato and Aristotle

Chapter

Abstract

This paper seeks to show the importance of the thought of Plato and Aristotle for today’s economics and business, especially in the light of the global financial and economic crisis. Our aim is twofold. On a general level, we illustrate the intrinsic connection between ethics and economic processes and organizations. On a more detailed level, we describe several specific values and principles highlighted by both Greek philosophers that can play a fundamental role in today’s organizations and business leadership. To this end, the first two sections examine Plato and Aristotle’s reflection on economics and riches and analyse how they relate to human flourishing (Sect. 18.2) and social justice (Sect. 18.3). Sect. 18.4 and Sect. 18.5 focus on several specific values and principles examined by Plato and Aristotle that can be key in enabling economics to foster the good of the individual and society. More specifically, Sect. 18.4 describes the notions of virtue, self-moderation and excellence, whereas Sect. 18.5 focuses on self-knowledge and wisdom, which are strictly interrelated. The concluding section shows how the values and principles described in the previous sections can play a fundamental role in today’s economic organizations and business leadership.

Keywords

Social Justice Good Life Practical Wisdom Economic Organization Nicomachean Ethic 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyUniversity of MacerataMacerataItaly

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