Aristotle's Critique of Political Economy
With a Contemporary Application
This book presents a positive account of Aristotle’s theory of political economy, arguing that it contains elements that may help us better understand and resolve contemporary social and economic problems.
The book considers how Aristotle’s work has been utilized by scholars including Marx, Polanyi, Rawls, Nussbaum and Sen to develop solutions to the problem of injustice. It then goes on to present a new Social Welfare Function (SWF) as an application of Aristotle’s theory. In exploring how Aristotle’s theories can be applied to contemporary social welfare analysis, the book offers a study that will be of relevance to scholars of the history of economic thought, political theory and the philosophy of economics.
Table of Contents
PART I Post-Enlightenment Aristotelian theorists of political economy. 1. Karl Marx: "The Aristotle of the nineteenth century". 2. Karl Polanyi. 3. John Rawls. 4. Amartya Sen. 5. Martha Nussbaum. PART II Aristotle’s critique of political economy. 6. The metaphysical foundations of Aristotle’s critique of political economy. 7. Living well versus mere living: The bifurcation of the community. 8. Incommensurability and Aristotle’s theory of value. 9. Reciprocity and reciprocal justice. 10. Grace in Aristotle’s theory of exchange. PART III Contemporary application. Social welfare analysis: theory. 11. The state of social welfare analysis. 12. Derivation of an Aristotelian Social Welfare Function. PART IV Contemporary application. Social welfare analysis: application. 13. Estimating values of an Aristotelian Social Welfare Function. 14. Quantitative studies in an Aristotelian Social Welfare Function. Conclusion.
Robert L. Gallagher is Director of the Eudemian Institute and Honorary Research Associate at the Institute for Philosophy and Social Theory, University of Belgrade, Serbia. Dr Gallagher lives in Lebanon.
"This book is uniquely relevant for current debates on globalization, income distribution and social welfare. It is of particular interest to readers concerned with contemporary issues in philosophy and political economy."
- Leo Michelis, Ryerson University, Canada
‘This book is an outstandingly detailed study of Aristotle’s economic thought as it relates to his metaphysics, ethics and politics […] Gallagher puts forward provocative, well-argued ideas and hypotheses through a thorough and methodical analysis of Aristotle’s texts (almost all of them translated from the original Greek by Gallagher himself). […] Gallagher’s book introduces a stimulating approach to Aristotle’s political economy, shedding light on a possible diagnosis and a therapy for current economic problems.’
- Ricardo Crespo, Universidad Austral, Argentina, in History of Economic Thought and Policy