Runsaskätisen hyvä elämä. Talouden rajasta Aristoteleella

Of the limits of economy in Aristotle's thought: The good life of a munificent man

Commentaries of Aristotle's economic thought are generally focused on two aspects, namely on the first book of Politics, where Aristotle makes his distinction between value in use and value in exchance, and on the fifth book of The Nikomachean Ethics, where Aristotle discusses justice and equitable measure in exchange. This article, however, takes its standpoint from the fourth book of The Nikomachean Ethics (and of chapters 1–3 in the fourth book especially), where Aristotle's approach to the limits of economy can be found. The article tries to show that in Aristotle's writings certain ethical habits take priority over economy. It examines exchange, wealth and usefulness with regard to the matter of household management (oikonomike) and with the art of obtaining riches (khrematistike). Then the article points out that in Aristotle's philosophy the 'good life' includes a so-called 'munificence' that asks for certain specific habits; munificence cannot be found in 'bare life' that is led by someone well skilled in the art of obtaining riches. Finally, the article studies the non-economic characters: the high-minded and the noble. These almost bataillean sovereign figures prefer honourable death to life in perpetual shame.

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