• Jennifer Hole
Part of the Archival Insights into the Evolution of Economics book series (AIEE)


What has ethics to do with economics? Today, corporations and entrepreneurs regard their role as profit-making, but in the medieval period such a consideration was meant to be governed by ethical principles such as the common good, and although economic inequality was accepted, individuals were instructed to moderate their greed and share some of their wealth. Economic ethics were embedded in commentaries on the Bible and the thought of Aristotle, but this book is a socio-cultural study rather than a theoretical one since it will investigate the question of how philosophical and theological concepts influenced attitudes and beliefs in late medieval England. Primary sources include pastoral manuals, sermons and literary works. The wording of legislation, petitions and wills reflect some of the moral attitudes expressed in those texts, while the correspondence of individuals show a differing set of values. Throughout, the aim is to demonstrate that definitions of theft, avarice, moderation and fair pricing were applied to the whole of society, from the king downwards, not merchants and traders alone.


Medieval Period Pastoral Manual Ethical Thought Economic Ethic English Industry 
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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jennifer Hole
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Western AustraliaCrawleyAustralia

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