The Merchant from Patristics to the Honnête Homme in the Writings of Savary

  • Christoph StrosetzkiEmail author
Part of the Ethical Economy book series (SEEP, volume 56)


The first purpose is the attempt to expose the origins of the negative image of the merchant. Secondly, it searches for possible reasons for the change into a positive image, before, finally, two texts from the French seventeenth century are presented, which exemplify the good reputation of the merchant and his profession. Savary underlines the usefulness of trade, pointing out the necessity of redistributing unevenly distributed goods and approving of trade, capable of increasing joy of life and avoiding abundance that could lead to harmful idleness. Further, trade promotes friendship and provides the king with information about foreign countries. The parfait négociant described by Savary appears to be not primarily morally perfect, but perfectly efficient. That the merchant can behave morally as well as immorally has been undisputed since Aristotle, Thomas Aquinas and Neo-Scholasticism.

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of MünsterMünsterGermany

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