Economic thought in ancient Greece,(Aristotle)

Prof. Dr. Moustafa El-abdallah Al Kafry

2023 / 1 / 4

The economic thought of the Greeks was not clear, distinct´-or-independent, but subordinate. Indeed, in the philosophy of Socrates, Plato and Aristotle, and sometimes even in the poems of Homer, we find some economic ideas, albeit brief. But in order to present their economic ideas, the ancient Greeks did not cease to resort to formulas, images´-or-examples derived from philosophy, anatomy and sometimes even literature and poetry. It is really difficult to talk about economic ideas through literature, anatomy, poetry and philosophy. But below we will try to discuss the economic ideas of one of the Greek philosophers (Aristotle).
The Greek philosopher Aristotle (384-322 BC) tried to take an analytical stand in the face of certain economic problems and phenomena. Aristotle is therefore one of the first ancient thinkers to give us what can be called the "seeds of an economic theory" based on the analysis of phenomena and problems related to economic activity. That is, it pushed the economy forward in order for the economy to become a distinctive, independent and integrated science, although it was not able to make it an independent science.[1]

I - Differences between the thought of the teacher Plato and his disciple Aristotle:
We note that Aristotle disagrees on a number of matters with his mentor Plato, and Aristotle considers Plato s republic to be unworkable, inhumane´-or-happy, especially with regard to some of the principles advocated by Plato such as: the commonality of women and property for the ruling class and soldiers, the sharp division of society into classes, the sacrifices that society was asking of every citizen. Aristotle tries to emphasize the general conditions that ensure the proper -function-ing of the city, rather than imposing a precise and specific political system as Plato does. Aristotle seeks to establish more than a just city similar to Plato, he seeks to establish a just and happy city. (He holds that happiness lies in the full exercise of virtue.)
As for the general conditions set by Aristotle to ensure the proper -function-ing of the city and make it happy: a moderate extension, lands that are so-limit-ed that they are easy to defend, where all the people can know each other, and a geographical situation close to the sea to secure transportation and its ease. These conditions change with the changing pattern of the state: minority rule needs a castle, and democracy fits into flat plains and large areas. [2]
Aristotle remained within the circle of traditional formulas brought about by his predecessors of Greek philosophers. Through: his advocacy and advocacy of the-limit-ed (shrinked) city, and that the free citizen remains completely free from all other manual occupations (physical labor)´-or-commercial, and the only works that Aristotle admired are deliberation and justice, the army´-or-religion, and he rejects excessive tyranny and imperfect property, and here he links the political subject with the social one.
([1]) - Dr. Labib Choucair, History of Economic Thought, Nahdet Misr -print-ing and Publishing House in Cairo, quoting Dr. Ahmed Dargham, History of Economic Thought, Economic Doctrines, Damascus University 1982, pp. 18-19.
([2]) - See: Jean Toshar, History of Political Ideas, translated by Dr. Naji Al, Darwasha, Ministry of Culture, Damascus 1984, vol. 1, p. 70.71.

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Economic thought in ancient Greece,
Prof. Dr. Moustafa El-Abdallah Al Kafry

I - Differences between the thought of the teacher Plato and his disciple Aristotle: 2
II - Plato is an imaginary and poetic philosopher, Aristotle was logical, systematic and practical: 3
III - The slave, in Aristotle s thought: 4
IV - Monarchy in Aristotle s Thought: 5
V - Value in Aristotle s Thought: 5
VI - Money in Aristotle s Thought: 6
VII - The conditions advocated by Aristotle in the built city: 6
VIII - Conclusion: 7
Modern Discussion