A Short History of Economics and Ethics

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Arising from a disenchantment with mainstream economics - a dissatisfaction that is widespread today - A Short History of Economics and Ethics sketches the emergence and decline of the ethical tradition of economics and the crisis of modern economics. In doing so, James Alvey focuses on four of the leading ancient Greek thinkers: Socrates, Xenophon, Plato and Aristotle.

The author uses insights from Amartya Sen's Capabilities approach as well as other sources to retrieve the ethical tradition of economics. Five aspects of this tradition which seem to lie outside of mainstream economics are identified: an ethical methodology; some notion of a just price; an understanding that ethical motivations are relevant to human action; a rich understanding of human well-being; and some notion of distributive justice related to human well-being.

Creating a forum for further debate and research opportunity, this book will appeal to students, scholars and historians of economic thought, as well as to all those interested in the intersection of ethics with economics.

Contents: 1. Introduction 2. An Introduction to Ancient Greek Political Economy 3. An Introduction to the Socratics: Socrates and Xenophon 4. Plato Part I: The Early and Middle Dialogues 5. Plato Part II: The Late Dialogues 6. Aristotle Part I: Ethics 7. Aristotle Part II: Politics (High and Low) 8. Aristotle Part III: Economics 9. Conclusion References Index

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About the Author:

James E. Alvey, Senior Lecturer, Massey University, New Zealand and Research Fellow, International Christian University, Japan

Review:

`. . . it is systematic, ordered, and continuously guides the reader - an assistance that is necessary given the great quantity of classifications and precision that the topic requires. I think that this book is helpful and may provoke a healthy reflection on the characteristics of economics.' -- Ricardo F. Crespo, Journal of Markets & Morality `Enhanced with extensive references and a comprehensive index, A Short History of Ethics and Economics is informed, informative, and highly recommended for professional and academic library ethical studies and history of economics reference collections and supplemental reading lists.' -- The Midwest Book Review `This is an important and timely work that addresses the moral crisis of contemporary economics. Alvey not only provides an excellent narrative of classical Greek economics, but his arguments are aimed at restoring the central role that ethics played in the long tradition of economic thought. This is an invaluable scholarly resource for academics and students of political economy as well as the history of political thought.' -- Benjamin Wong, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore

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