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Economics and the VirtuesBuilding a New Moral Foundation$
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Jennifer A. Baker and Mark D. White

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198701392

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198701392.001.0001

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Economic Good as Indifferent

Economic Good as Indifferent

The Stoics’ Radical Approach

(p.53) Chapter 3 Economic Good as Indifferent
Economics and the Virtues

Jennifer A. Baker

Oxford University Press

Most approaches to ethics and economics today are “Aristotelian” in methodology. Although he had a psychological account of virtue to which to refer, Aristotle largely analyzed economics in terms of market norms and general social good. This chapter argues for the radical proposal of the Stoics. It suggests that we need, in addition to an account of virtue, a tool for considering the role markets play in our lives—and only the Stoics provide us with the right kind of theoretical tool in their virtue ethic. The key to their agility with ethics and the market is their theoretical approach to economic goods. They term economic goods “indifferents” and the benefits from making this distinction enable us to talk about ethics and economics without confusing the two.

Keywords:   virtue, Stoics, Aristotle, economics, market norms, ethics, economic good, indifferents

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