The Values of Economics: An Aristotelian Perspective, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

The Values of Economics

An Aristotelian Perspective, 1st Edition

By Irene van Staveren


256 pages

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Paperback: 9780415241830
pub: 2001-06-07
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In his Ethics, Aristotle argued that human beings try to further a variety of values by balancing them, stating that people try to find a middle road between excess and deficiency. The author develops and applies this idea to the values of economics, arguing that in the economy; freedom, justice and care are also balanced to further ends with scarce means. Freedom is furthered through market exchange, justice through a redistributive role of the state, and care through mutual gifts of labour and sharing of resources in the economy.

The book argues that economics is, and has always been, about human values, which guide, enable, constrain and change economic behaviour.


'[Van Staveren's] discussion on the value domain of the care economy and its interactions with and interdependece to justice and freedom is unparalleled. This book will be of great value to those interested in understanding and probing the ethical dimensions of economic rationality, as well as those interested in how institutions mediate the roles of women in the three economic value domains.' - Journal of Feminist Economics

Table of Contents

1. The Missing Ethical Capabilities of Rational Economic Man 2. Paradoxes of Value 3. Liberte, Egalite, Fraternite 4. Beyond the Highway of Modern Economics 5. Hypotheses on Economic Role Combination 6. Toward an Aristotelian Economics 7. Institutional Mediation Between Value Domains

About the Series

Economics as Social Theory

Social Theory is experiencing something of a revival within economics. Critical analyses of the particular nature of the subject matter of social studies and of the types of method, categories and modes of explanation that can legitimately be endorsed for the scientific study of social objects, are re-emerging. Economists are again addressing such issues as the relationship between agency and structure, between economy and the rest of society, and between the enquirer and the object of enquiry. There is a renewed interest in elaborating basic categories such as causation, competition, culture, discrimination, evolution, money, need, order, organization, power probability, process, rationality, technology, time, truth, uncertainty, value etc.

The objective for this series is to facilitate this revival further. In contemporary economics the label “theory” has been appropriated by a group that confines itself to largely asocial, ahistorical, mathematical “modelling”. Economics as Social Theory thus reclaims the “Theory” label, offering a platform for alternative rigorous, but broader and more critical conceptions of theorizing.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Economics / General
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Economics / Theory