© 2020

Business Ethics from Antiquity to the 19th Century

An Economist's View


Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xii
  2. David George Surdam
    Pages 1-14
  3. David George Surdam
    Pages 15-37
  4. David George Surdam
    Pages 39-56
  5. David George Surdam
    Pages 57-80
  6. David George Surdam
    Pages 81-114
  7. David George Surdam
    Pages 115-138
  8. David George Surdam
    Pages 139-156
  9. David George Surdam
    Pages 157-179
  10. David George Surdam
    Pages 181-203
  11. David George Surdam
    Pages 205-237
  12. David George Surdam
    Pages 239-266
  13. David George Surdam
    Pages 281-294
  14. David George Surdam
    Pages 295-315
  15. David George Surdam
    Pages 317-350
  16. David George Surdam
    Pages 351-352
  17. Back Matter
    Pages 353-383

About this book


This book combines elements of economic and business history to study business ethics from antiquity to the nineteenth century. This book begins with so-called primitive people, showing how humans began to exchange goods and commodities from trade as a way to keep peace and prosper. The ancients considered the value and ethics of business, and many of their reflections influenced medieval Catholic thinkers and business participants. Protestants elevated working and profit-making to the respectable and virtuous, and some groups, such as Quakers, came to exemplify good business ethics.

This book draws on the work of economists and historians to highlight the importance of changing technologies, religious beliefs, and cultural attitudes, showing that what is considered ethical differs across time and place.


economic history business history business ethics Adam Smith David Hume business economics economics of technology

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Department of EconomicsUniversity of Northern IowaCedar FallsUSA

About the authors

David George Surdam is Professor of Economics at the University of Northern Iowa, USA.

Bibliographic information

  • Book Title Business Ethics from Antiquity to the 19th Century
  • Book Subtitle An Economist's View
  • Authors David George Surdam
  • DOI
  • Copyright Information The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020
  • Publisher Name Palgrave Macmillan, Cham
  • eBook Packages Economics and Finance Economics and Finance (R0)
  • Hardcover ISBN 978-3-030-37164-7
  • Softcover ISBN 978-3-030-37167-8
  • eBook ISBN 978-3-030-37165-4
  • Edition Number 1
  • Number of Pages XII, 383
  • Number of Illustrations 0 b/w illustrations, 0 illustrations in colour
  • Topics Economic History
    Business Ethics
    Business Ethics
  • Buy this book on publisher's site
Industry Sectors
Finance, Business & Banking