Four Issues in Socratic Economic Analysis

  • Barry Gordon


The philosophers did not leave a legacy which merely recommended a manner of approach to economic issues. Their concern with the origins of social life and the maintenance of just relationships within it gave rise to a series of insights on particular problems in economics. Apart from those noted above in connection with their conception of economics, these insights included influential analyses touching on the theories of money and interest, the question of communal versus private ownership of resources, and the theory of value. The contributions of Aristotle in these areas are of special significance for the future development of economic thought in Europe. It is quite impossible to chart the course of that development without an appreciation of the positions he took and the ways in which those positions were interpreted. As one modern scholar has observed, ‘Aristotle’s influence on medieval city economy exerted through Thomas Aquinas was as great as later that of Adam Smith and David Ricardo on nineteenth century world economy.’1


Economic Analysis Nicomachean Ethic Economic Thought Social Equilibrium Exchange Justice 
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    The following remarks in this section of the chapter are based, in the main, on the findings of Josef Soudek, op. cit., and S. Todd Lowry, ‘Aristotle’s Mathematical Analysis of Exchange’, History of Political Economy Vol. 1., No. 1. (Spring 1969) pp. 44–66.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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Copyright information

© Barry Gordon 1975

Authors and Affiliations

  • Barry Gordon
    • 1
  1. 1.University of NewcastleAustralia

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