Market and Common Good

João César das Neves*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Das Neves, well-known author on economics, advisor to the Portuguese government, and professor at the Catholic University of Lisbon, describes the main obstacles which hinder the market mechanisms in serving the common good. His analyses focus on the economics of Smith, Malthus, and Marx as of three influential thinkers. Das Neves shows that both the classical analysis and the intents to overcome their deficiencies have thus far concentrated on institutional aspects, leaving aside the true problems which are to be found on a deeper level: on the level of the aims and the objectives of economic activity rather than that of its functional aspects. The author considers the Aristotelian distinction between oikonomia and chrematistike as helpful for solving the ethical question of the relationship between the free market and the common good. Financial transactions are not in themselves evil, but they become so if they are aimed at things which are completely detached from true human needs. The social evaluation of institutions by economics has to be completed by an analysis of personal attitudes, moral identity, and ethical intentions of the economic agents.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEthical economy
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 2012

Publication series

NameEthical Economy
ISSN (Print)2211-2707
ISSN (Electronic)2211-2723


  • Common good
  • Ethical condemnation
  • Greek philosopher
  • Household management
  • Moral identity


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