A Ética da dívida

  • Rui Miguel Costa Carneiro (Student)

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


This dissertation establishes as its main goal to analyze the topic of debt. It does so from a perspective that stems simultaneously from ethics/philosophy and economics/finance, in order to tackle an issue that is extremely relevant in both economics and management nowadays. It seeks to understand the philosophical roots of debt, so that it becomes possible to understand to what extent we can speak about an “ethics of debt” and to grasp how it manifests itself. The dissertation thus adopts a hermeneutical, qualitative analysis not only of debt but also of other adjacent notions. Concretely, it mentions the development of capitalism and its “spirit”, including its specific values, and it recalls the recent history of the economic crisis that caused the crisis of sovereign debts in Europe. Then it analyzes the data of Portuguese (public and private) debt, concluding that it can hardly be considered sustainable and that Portugal probably will not be able to reach the goals and objectives established of the European Fiscal Compact that were nevertheless agreed to. Consequently, the dissertation discusses the possibility of debt restructuring, distinguishing the ethical, economic/financial and political standpoints. It also concludes that the current high level of debt is a serious challenge to Portuguese corporations and to the Portuguese economy as a whole and also that in all these discussions there are ethical concepts and claims that are usually used. The dissertation pinpoints and analyzes those concepts and claims, showing that not only is debt a challenge; furthermore, it is the “ethics of debt” that helps to understand debt and helps in the decision making process of what to do with debts.
Date of Award12 Jul 2016
Original languagePortuguese
Awarding Institution
  • Universidade Católica Portuguesa
SupervisorGonçalo Nuno de Bettencourt Coutinho Marcelo (Supervisor)


  • Capitalism
  • Debt
  • Economic crises
  • Ethics


  • Mestrado em Gestão

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