John Martella provides summaries of the following:
PLATO (428-347 B.C.)
"Economical ideas appear in relation to philosophical only when philosophy extends not only to outward nature, but to man, and not only to man but to society. We begin therefore neither with Thales, nor with Anaxagoras, nor even with Socrates, but with Plato."(Bonar 11)
The reason we start with Plato was because of his emphasis upon the society as a whole. It is also important to remember that economics as a discipline does not exist until the late eighteenth century. Before that time economics existed as a subset of ethics and political philosophy. hence economics is first considered under the scrutiny of "what is right" as oppossed to "what is."(Gray 14, Bonar 11)
Greece at the time that Plato is writing is founded upon the use of slave labor, and the work that the slaves did was considered dishonorable and base.(Gray 14) Plato was prejudiced against all forms of hard work, excepting agriculture. He thought that shopkeepers and merchants were little better then slaves.(Bonar 21) This prejudice may help to explain why he did not dwell too much upon economic issues.
Plato thought that the state arose out of the material needs of
men. Men are not able to meet all of their own needs, it is only
when men realize this, that they will begin to form a common cause
to support their different needs.(Bonar 15) "A states arises
out of the needs of mankind; no one is self-sufficing, but all
of us have many wants."(Plato quoted in Gray 15) Plato recognized
that the division of labor will be beneficial to the society:
It is interesting to note that Plato concept of the division of labor is different from the one that Adam Smith is to mention two thousand years later. Notice that Plato says that because we are different we should have different jobs, and this will enable us to do our one job to our fullest ability. Plato's starting point is of an ethical nature " there are diversities amoung us", we should do that which is "natural" for us to do.
Smith says, contrawise, that we should have a division of labor because it drives " a good bargain." (Gray 17) Plato thought that the division of labor was good because it allowed men to do that which was natural for them. (Schumpeter 56)
Plato also thought about what a perfect society would be like. He believed that the perfect society would be small, and could be regulated so as to make overall wealth relatively even.(Schumpeter 55) The citizens would also be regulated into a strict caste-type structure, where one's intelligence and ability would determine where one would end up at in the society.(ibid) The taking of interest would be forbade, because those who would need the loans would need the money because of some natural disaster, and hence the idea of making money off of someone elses hardship was considered "unjust."(Whittaker 6,7)
Much has been made, particularly by Marxists, of Plato's presumed
Schumpeter says that if we desire to place Plato in a straightjacket and claim he belongs in a particular camp, it is more reasonable to claim that he is more of a fascist then a communist.(55) Ekelund provides a good review of Plato's ideal political system:
In conclusion, Plato's contribution to economic thought, while a starting point, is very small. Although he does recognize the importance of the division of labor, it is through the eyes of an ethicist and not an economist. Although I have claimed that his contribution is small, it is important to remember that Plato is speaking from his own experience. He lived in a small city-state where slaves did the hard labor, hence he was not overly concerned with the "everyday business of life."
For a listing of the works cited please see the "Works Cited" document.
ARISTOTLE (384-322 B.C.)
Aristotle was a student of Plato's, but he did not believe many of the same ideas. Aristotle drew his ideas from careful collection of existing data; through study he formulated his ideas about politics. (Schumpeter 57) Although he was interested in empirical evidence, he was also concerned with "justice" and "the Good", and both of these strains can be seen in what Aristotle thought about economics.
Aristotle disagreed with Plato over the concept of private property. While Plato had argued that a communistic mode of life would be the best thing for the "guardians", Aristotle claimed that such a venture would be against human nature;"...people pay most attention to their own private property and less to what they have but a part interest."(Aristotle -touted in Gray 23) He also goes on to say:
Indeed it is generally true that it is a difficult business for men to live together and to be partners in any form of human activity, but it is specially difficult do do so when property is involved. Fellowtravellers who are merely partners in a j gurney furnish an illustration: they generally quarrel about ordinary matters and take offense on petty occasions. Difficulties such as these...are involved in a sysytem of community of property. (Aristotle, Barkers trans. 49)
Aristotle clearly thought that if there was a community of property that there would also be quarrelling, and that people would not do a fair share of the work: "If they do not share equally in work and recompense, those who do more work and get less recompense will be bound to raise complaints. . . " (ibid)
The record of "modern" nations who have attempted communal ownership would seem to prove that Aristotle is correct. Aristotle does go on to add that a perfect system would one in which there is private property, but that the property could be used by all of the citizens, he goes on to say such experiments are going on in his day, which were not too far from his ideal:
In these states each citizen has his own property; but when it comes to the use of this property, each makes a part of it available to his friends, and each devotes still another part to the common enjoyment of all fellow citizens. In Sparta, for example, men use one another's slaves, and one another's horses and dogs, as if they were their own...(ibid)
Two things are interesting in this passage. The first is Aristotle's reliance upon what is really occurring. Instead of just theorizing, Aristotle has looked around him to find proof that his idea could work. The second point is his lack of concern over the use of slave labor. Yet it is important to remember that Greece at this time still uses slaves, and hence Aristotle would have been brought up believing that it is not "injust". Later in the Politics he goes on to say that some men are by nature slave, and he states that nature will sort out the slaves from the non-slaves.(Gray 25)
What is also of interest is what Aristotle says about money and how it came into being. Money, for Aristotle, is a way in which different goods can be exchanged(Bonar 37) Aristotle says thatmen first exchanged goods through barter, but barter became more difficult, how does one trade shoes for a house. Aristotle wrote about barter that:
On this basis things which are useful are exchanged themselves, and directly, for similar useful things, but the transaction doers not go any further...The supply of men's needs came to depend on more foreign sources, as men began to import for themselves what they lacked, and to export what they had in superabundance; and in this way the the use of a money currency was...instituted."( Aristotle, Bakers trans. 23-24)
He goes on to add that currency in the form of gold,silver, or iron coins developed because these items were more easily carried.(ibid 24)
Aristotle recognized that money was a way to exchange goods, but he also recognized that money could be used to pay for things in the future, that money was also a store of value.(Schumpeter 62) Instead of having to save diffirent items to trade, one could use money, the benefits being that money is small, portable, and does not spoil.
Again we see how Aristotle relied upon observation and study of the past to formulate a theory about the development of money. Modern reasearch into the development of money seems to bear him out. (ibid 64) Barter was used first, but as that became more cumbersome men switched to the use of currency.
Although Aristotle recognized that trade was important, in order to
supply men's different needs, he believed that if men trade only to gain wealth then they are doing something that is "unnatural"(Gray 26) He saw no problem with attaining wealth in order to purchase more goods in the future, but he was against the acquistition of money only for the sake of getting more money. The worst of this type of activity was usury.
Aristotle thought that it was unnatural for people to use money by making more money:
The most hated sort (of money-making)...is usury....For money was intented to be used in exchange, but not to increase with interest. (Aristotle quoted in Gailbraith 12)
There is also the fact that the loans that were made at this time were those given to the poor when they are in great need, hence loans were made to make money off of the suffering of others.(ibid)
Aristotle influenced economic thought because he formulated a coherent idea about the development and uses of money. He also recognized that private property is "natural", and that community of property would not work in the real world (although questions could be raised about his own idea about private property and common use).
Private property is essential to the ideas of later economists. Aristotle's influence could still be felt fifteen hundred years after his death. This does not mean that he was always correct, but it is a testament to his intellect that his ideas would not be challenged for a very long time after his death.
For a complete listing of sources used please see the "Works Cited" document.
by John Martella '92
Early Christian Influence
Christian influence on economic issues is not through a direct route.
Their influence can be better seen in the way in which they altered opinions and ideas. I have noted that the Greek city-states were founded upon the use of slavery, and hence the "everyday business of life" was regarded as being base. Hard work was left to the slaves, and any real work of any kind was looked down upon. Christianity changed the opinion. Jesus Christ was the son of a carpenter. The Apostle Paul "labored night and day", and was known to build tents. Paul also wrote that those who do not work would not eat:
For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work neither should he eat. (II Thessalonians 3:10)
Here we see a complete reversal of Greek thought. The early Christians also affirmed the equality of all people.(Gray 44) We are all equals in the sight of God.
Where the early Christians do explicitly talk about economic issues it is concerning the use of interest. The early Christians condemned the taking of interest for the same moral grounds as did Plato and Aristotle. It was "wrong" to earn off the hardship of someone who was less fortunate. (Gray 46)
St. Thomas Aquinas (1226-1274)
St. Thomas Aquinas is one of the most prolific writers of the Middle Ages. His ideas in the field of economics held sway until the advent of the Mercantilists, who came into the scene around sixteen hundred. I will seek to show that the ideas of Aquinas were important to the development of later economic ideas.
Aquinas afflrmed the belief that private property was "natural" to man. Aquinas thought that there were three reasons why private property was better then a form of communal property. Firstly,"every man is more careful to procure what is for himself alone than that which is common to many or to all. . . " (Aquinas quoted in Whittaker 16) Secondly, "human affairs conducted in a more orderly fashion..."(ibid) Thirdly,"a more peaceful state is ensured...if each is contented with his own."(ibid)
Aquinas also thought that if things were held in private then they could be more readily given to those who were in need. (ibid) One can clearly see the optimism of St. Thomas concerning humanity in such a statement. Aquinas believed that private property should be private in ownership but common in use, this idea he borrowed from Aristotle.
A man would not act unlawfully if by going beforehand to the play he prepared the way for others: but he acts unlawfully if by so doing he hinders others from going. In like manner a rich man does not act unlawfully if he anticipates someone in taking possession of something which at first is common property, and gives others a share: but he sins if he excludes others indiscriminately from using it.(Aquinas quoted in Whittaker 17)
Here we can see that Aquinas believed that private property is "just" but only if we still share it with others. It does not take a great leap of imagination to believe that such an idea could be abused by others. It is now "okay" for a rich man to have things. Aquinas even goes so far as to say that the number of alms to be given to the poor should be restricted so that each man can live his life as his status requires(Gray 50) He also said that being wealthy is "good" if it helps one to live a life of virtue, just as it is good to be poor if it helps one to live a life of virtue.(ibid) Here, I think, we see a breaking down against the idea that wealth always leads to evil. The idea that men have a certain station in life to be maintained could very easily be abused to allow for the formation of great amounts of personal wealth. I am sure that this is not what he had intended, but it is a possibility.
Aquinas also changed the idea concerning the "just" price. While Church writers before him had argued that a just price was an exact price whereby both the seller and the buyer benefited the same, Aquinas argued that the "just" price was in the form of a range.(Gray 52) A slight variation of the price was not considered "wrong".
Aquinas also stated that the price of an object should also take into account the amount of loss that the seller has when he sells the item. Therefore if a object was of immense personal value to a person then they have the right to charge a higher price for it then the "just" price.(ibid) One can see that a less then honest seller could take advantage of such an idea, who could then use the idea that his wealth is only to help him maintain his station in life to create a great fortune.
The idea of a "just" price was tied to the idea of a "just" wage. The "just" wage idea was that a worker should be given a wage that was enough to allow the worker to maintain a decent standard of living. The cost of labor was a major factor in determining the what the price of an object was to be. Here we see a basic idea of how prices are formed. It is what modern economists would call a cost of production theory of price determination. Price is( or should be) determined by what it costs to make the item, and for Aquinas the major cost in production was labor.(Gray 53)
Although Aquinas also condemned the use of usury he formulated some distinctions that I think led to the downfall against the taking of interest. For instance, if a lender could prove that he had suffered some type of loss because he had lent the money then he was entitled to recieve his money back and just compensation.(Gray 58) The lender could also expect to recieve "interest" if the borrower failed to return the money at a set date, if the lender could prove that he had missed out on an opportunity which he would have attained if he would have had the money.(ibid) Both of these exceptions to the rule against usury could easily be bent and manipulated to the,benefit of those who lent money.
Lastly Aquinas wrote about the two methods that could be employed
in order for a state to get what it needs to exist. It could produce
what it needs for its own natural abundance, or it could trade.(ibid
61) Aquinas recognized that merchants were needed to sustain a
state. "Hence the perfect state will make use of merchants
-- but in moderation."(ibid) Aquinas, in a sense, opens the
door to the development of trading in a large scale. Two hundred
years after his death, Columbus will seek to find a passage to
the Indies in order to facilitate trade.
For a complete listing of sources used please see the "Works Cited" document.
Where We Are Heading
The purpose of this document will be to show how historical events were important in the role in developing capitalism.
One will recall from the "Aquinas" document that Aquinas added some new dimensions to such ideas as wealth, trade, and the taking of interest. Wealth was no longer "unjust" if that wealth was used to maintain one's station in life. Interest could be taken if the lender could prove that he had suffered some loss, or if it could be shown that the borrower was a higher then normal risk. This amendment to the idea of usury is how many of us think of interest, it is a payment to a lender because there is a chance that the borrower will not be pay off the loan. Trade was looked down upon by Aristotle and Plato, but Aquinas recognized that trade was not "bad", although he did say that it would be easy for a trader to abuse the system to gain great amounts of wealth.(Gray 46)
One other point about Aquinas that I would like to comment on is the way in which his thinking about the complimentarily of faith and reason is evidenced in his idea about usury. Aquinas believed that faith informed people that the taking of interest was "wrong". The Bible claims that it is "wrong" to take interest, hence one should not take interest. But Aquinas believed that faith claims could be further justified by reason. Aquinas then takes up the Aristotlelian argument that the taking of interest is "wrong" because money is only a store of value, that it is "unnatural" for money to be able to create more money. So here we can see that Aquinas was able to justify faith by the use of reason.
One last point about Aquinas interests me very much. Marco Polo and his father left Venice to go to the Orient in 1271.(Boorstin 139) Aquinas died in 1274. How much of what Aquinas wrote was an influence upon his times, or how much was it a statement of what men were beginning to accomplish? In other words, did Aquinas state what was occurring, or did his writting influence the times to such a degree that men would start to act upon it even before his death? The Polo's returned to Venice in 1295 bringing with them a small portion of the many things that they had seen on their travels. (Boorstin 137)
Another important point that would help to bring about the developments of capitalism was the slow, but steady death of the power of the Catholic church.This had two impacts. First, it reinforced the nationalistic sentiments that were beginning to emerge at this time, and second it broke the Catholic church's stronghold on religion in Europe. As early as 1380 John Wycliffe had translated the Latin Vulgate into English.(Thompson 180) Why do we see this desire to have the Bible presented in such a way as to allow "regular" people to be able to read it, realizing that "regular people" would refer to those rich enough to be able to afford the translation and those who would have the ability to read? One possible explanation as to why we see the advance of nationalism is that during the Crusades, which brought together a large number of different Europeans, those people who spoke the same language, or came from the same regions would naturally bing together. One cannot follow someone into battle if one has no idea what they are saying. Hence, Englishmen became just that--Englishmen. When they returned back to England it may have been harder for them to think of themselves as being tied to a lord of the manor. Wycliffe's translatation then would help to further the idea of nationalism, it would help to further solidify a movement that had already began. When men like Wycliffe began to translate the Bible into the language of the people we see a beginning to the end of the Catholic church's power over religion. Men began to read the Bible and interpret what the read, and often times what they thought the Bible said was often very different from the official Church position. Hence someone like Luther reads the Bible and sees that salvation is accomplished by faith and not through penance or other good works.(Jones 55) The Church, it seems, realized that reading the Bible could have important consequences. They told Luther to "...let the Bible alone; read the old teachers...".(Ibid) This new reading of the Bible was supported by rulers who either believed that Luther was right, or who saw an opportunity to advance their own goals.
The birth of nationalism and the decline of the power of the Catholic Church help to bring about the advent of monarchs. This is not to say that kings and queens did not exist before this time, but it is to say that the "old" monarchs would do the biding of the Church, while the "new" monarchs were not bound to do as the Pope said. This helps to bring about a new economic system--Mercantilism.
Note: It is important to remember that this document is by no means inclusive. It is an extremely short survey of the time between Aquinas and the advent of Mercantilism.
For a Complete listing of sources please see the "Works Cited" document.
by J. Martella '92
MERCANTILISM ( 1500's-1700's)
In the document labeled "Transition", we see how some developments in history may have been important to the development of a new form of economics, namely, mercantilism.
Mercantilist believed that the chief means by which the total wealth of a nation could be expanded was through the the exporting of finished products, that would bring in specie, or more commonly gold and silver.(Ekelund 43 ) Why was gold and silver,specie, of so much importance ? Specie was the way a monarch could build and support large armies and armadas, hence the more gold one had the more one could buy. This dependence upon gold led to vest programs of exploration. "In the thirteenth century, the brother's Polo went as unprotected merchants...; in the fifteenth century Columbus sailed for what he hoped would be the same destination under the auspices of Isabella."(Heilbroner 34) So in the short time span of two centuries exploration had shifted from a small number of daring individuals to national programs for the development of trade.
The body of mercantilist writers do not agree on all points, but there do exist some common ground which all, or at least the majority of mercantilists, do agree. One was that all the goods that a nation would need should be produced in the home country, if this was not possible the country should only import the raw materials that would be needed to make a finished product at home.(Ekelund 43 ) The most important concern of mercantile writers was the desire to see that a nation's resources were used to the utmost of their ability to promote the economic and political power of the nation.(ibid 45) They also held that if a product could be produced at home then the item should not be imported.(ibid 43)
Ekelund comments that mercantile writers to the man were very concerned with the real-world.(ibid 44) These were men who were not concerned with mysticism, or emotions. They appealed to the rule of the intellect, and believed that intellect could guide them in their daily business.(ibid 45)
The importance of mercantilism can be seen in a number of areas. Because mercantilism depended upon large amounts of gold and silver there is a push towards the exploration of distant lands to find more gold and, at least for the mercantilists, more wealth. This desire for gold coupled with the belief that a state should only import raw materials led to colonialzation. A colony could provide the raw materials a nation would need, without having to pay someone else for them. If your goal is to maximize the store of gold in your state this is a good way to do it.
As I noted above there was a large increase in the amount of exploration during this time frame. To be able to discover something, to trade with a distant nation, or to bring goods into your state from a distant colony required the use of navigation. In order to sail the open oceans, one would need better navigational instruments and better mathematical techniques.(Alioto 162) This led nations to set up places where advanced mathematical techniques and where advanced geography could take place.(Boorstin 49 ) Because mercantilism was concerned with the political, as well as the economic, power of a state the art of warfare changed. Alioto notes that the Hundred Years War between the French and the Engilsh changed warfare.(Alioto 162) Armies were now professional and science was used to further the ability of weapons to kill. New fire power required improved skills in engineering and mathematics.(ibid) Alioto also notes that the financial burden of these wars led to an interdependence between the state and the merchant class, and the "old local economic patterns of the Middle Ages were gradually swept away by this new rationalization of violence."(ibid) Here it is evident that the development of new scientific inquiry was a direct result of the role of the mercantile economic system.
Mercantilism ultimately lost intellectual respectabilty. David Hume had demonstrated that as more gold is placed into an economy the overall price level would increase. This increase in prices would make that nation's exports more expensive relative to the prices of the nation who recieved the exports. Hence the nation who received the exports would not purchase the more expensive exports( assuming the same quality of product). This would ultimately lead to a balance of trade between different nations, and no net gain from having more supplies of gold.(For a more through discusion of Hume's argument please see Ekelund 47-48, or Hume's Of Money.) The Spanish quest for gold was massive, so they actively attempted to bring as much gold and sliver into their nation as they could find. The massive influx of gold into the Spanish economy led to inflation and, in fact, prices quadrupled in one hundred years.(Boorstin 653) This inflation led to the decline of the Spanish Empire.(ibid)
Mercantilism also broke down because many people at this time were beginning to realize that a state regulated economy was not providing well for the nation as a whole. Men began to reject a purely rationalistic view of knowledge in favor of an empirical view, that stressed that we can only know what we can sense.(Ekelund 65) This can best be seen in a poem by Bernard de Mandeville called The Grumbling Hive; or Knaves Turn'd Honest, written in 1705. Mandeville's point was that through observing people in the real world he noticed that people often times do things that are "wrong" or in their own interests, but that their wrong doing leads to an overall benefit to society at large. Mandeville's conclusion was that economic freedom should be given to the society at large in order for the entire community to benefit from anothers "vice". Developing concomitant with that idea is the belief in the value of the individual. This valuation is based upon both religion and on reason. The Reformation stated that all people were responsible for their own salvation. The individual could have a personal relationship with God without having to go through the Catholic Church. All believers were their own priests.(Jones 55-57) Rene Descartes provided the reason for the value of the individual. Descartes attempted to form a way to come to definite conclusions, he was very concerned about finding knowledge that could not be doubted.(Ess lecture notes) Descartes sought to "suspend his own beliefs until he could prove them conclusively."(Jones 162) He sought to find one thing that he in no way could doubt. His conclusion was that he could doubt everything, including God, but the one thing that he could not doubt was that he doubted.(ibid) He argued that there was no way that he could doubt his own existence, because "if I try to doubt my own existence, this doubt disproves itself. I must surely exist in order to doubt that I exist."(ibid 164) Hence, Descartes could doubt everything, but he could not doubt that he existed. The individual was the basis on which all knowledge could be built. Notice that it is the individual that is of the utmost importance. Prior to Descartes it was the Catholic church or the State that was supreme.
Quite by accident we can see, in a sense, that faith and reason compliment one another. According to the Reformers the Bible claims that men have a personal responsiblility to God. According to reason, as explained by Descartes, individuals are the one thing upon which we can build a stystem of knowledge. Both these ideas are important because they, in effect, lay the ground work for the arguement for economic freedom that will be enunciated by Adam Smith, the "founder" of capitalism. After Descartes and the Reformation individuals had value, they could make rational decisions, and this led to the development of democratic ideals. Only in a State where all people had some value could democracy emerge.
In conclusion, mercantilism led to colonialzation, the exploration of the New World, the further development of science, and in its down fall led to the beginnings of economic liberalism.
For a complete list of sources used please see the "Works Cited"
document. by J. Martella '92
From Mercantilism to Adam Smith
The purpose of this document will be to trace the time frame from the end of Mercantilism, roughly 1700, to the advent of Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations.
As I noted in the "Mercantilism" document there were a number of changes that made it possible for the advent of economic liberalism. Most importantly was the new value that was placed upon the individual, and the ability of the individual to make decisions concerning their own life. The work of the English philosopher John Locke was also of importance. Locke brings us closer to our present day ideas about economics and the state then anyone else before him, although we must remember that it a process, and that no one person is responsible for the advent of economic liberalism.(Bonar 91) Locke's importance lies in a number of areas. Locke began his inquiry into society and man by assuming that men in the state of nature is not always a struggle. Thomas Hobbes had asserted that men, in the state of nature, are cruel, mean, and self-serving.(Ess lecture notes) Locke disagrees with Hobbes contention, and claims that while this can be the case it is not exclusively so.(Bonar 99) "Men are born free and equal."(ibid 98) For Locke, men form governments to enforce the peace and liberty of individuals to each other. This is important because it set the stage for the ability of free men to do in the economic sphere as they so desire. Locke saw the government as a "minimal state", which would only interfere in the lives of men to protect them from foreign invasion or from threat of violence to themselves or their property.(Ess lecture notes.) The government, according to Locke, does not have a role to play in the economic sphere. Another important contribution from Locke is his justification for private property. Here Locke assume an agricultural society that has almost limitless bounty and that is available for the taking. Locke says that "God gave the world to the use of the industrious and the rational, and labour was to be his title to it, not to the fancy or covetousness of the quarlesome and the contentious."(Locke quoted in Bonar 99) In this statement Locke claims that if one goes out into the world that God has given to all men, remember Locke assumes that we are all free and equal, then if one take from the earth through one's own labor then one has the right to call that property. If I go out to the orchard and through my own labor am able to pick some apples, then those apple have become my own.(Ess lecture notes) Locke also goes on to say that one should not pick so many apples that they go to rot; nature is large enough, for Locke, so that there is enough for all.(Bonar 99)
How does Locke reconcile this justification for property for what we see in the real world, that those who possess something often times do not use any dierct labor to get it? Locke says that this is the reason why money was created. Men agreed to use money as a way to get goods that they themselve would have a difficult or impossible time creating. Money allows for people who are good are producing one thing to be able to have another thing that they would other wise be unable to have, either through lack of time or ability.(ibid 101) Locke even goes further to claim that when men decided to the use of money they also "tacitly 'agreed to a disporportionate and unequal possession of the earth."'(ibid) Locke also claims that this is based in the political compact that has arisen between men, and that the compact cannot be disolved, becuase men originally formed the compact as a way to increase their own individual happiness, and hence men will not rationally break the compact.(ibid 99-101)
Locke provides the rationale for an economic system that is based upon individuals, and he expressively states that governments are formed to protect the individual and that is their sole role. They are not formed to have a role in economic matters. Locke sets the foundation for the laissez faire state. State where individuals, without any form of coercion, are able to interact with others for their own benefit. Locke also provides for us a justification of why some men are able to amass vast amounts of property, through their own labor they have been able to earn money which has allowed them to purchase a myriad of different goods.
Developing at roughly the same time that Locke was postulating on the "minimal state", were a group of French philosophers who were reacting against the amount of state controls that existed on industry there. These French men were called Physiocrats, and they were the first group to consider themselves economists. They joined political philosophy with political economy.(Bonar 133) Their theoretical father was Quesnay.
Alioto, Anthony M. A History of Western Science. Englewood Cliffs: Prentice-Hall, 1987
Aristotle. The Politics. trans. Ernest Baker. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1946.
Bonar, James. Philosophy and Political Economy. London: George Allen & Unwin, 1927.
Ekelund, Robert and Herbert, Robert. A History of Economic Doctrine. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1975.
Ess, Charles. Class lecture notes-"Modern Philosphy" . Drury University: Fall 1991.
Galbraith, J.K. Economics in Perspective. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1987.
Gray, Alexander. The Development of Economic Doctrine. London: Longmans, Green & Co.,1931.
Heilbroner, Robert L. The Wordly Philosophers. New York. Simon & Schuster, inc, 1953.
Jones, W.T. A History of Western Philosophy: Hobbes to Hume. New York. Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, inc, 1952.
Scumpeter, J. A. History of Economic Analysis. New York: Oxford Univ. Press, 1954.
Whittaker, Edmund. Schools and Streams of Economic Thought. Chicago: Rand McNally & Co.,1960.
by John Martella '92