The Challenges of Capitalism for Virtue Ethics and the Common Good
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The Challenges of Capitalism for Virtue Ethics and the Common Good

Interdisciplinary Perspectives

Edited by Kleio Akrivou and Alejo José G Sison

The evolution of modern capitalist society is increasingly being marked by an undeniable and consistent tension between pure economic and ethical ways of valuing and acting. This book is a collaborative and cross-disciplinary contribution that challenges the assumptions of capitalist business and society. It ultimately reflects on how to restore benevolence, collaboration, wisdom and various forms of virtuous deliberation amongst all those who take part in the common good, drawing inspiration from European history and continental philosophical traditions on virtue.
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Chapter 2: The ‘medieval’, the common good and accounting

Alisdair Dobie


Business practices and behaviour in the medieval world might automatically be regarded by some today as primitive, traditional and uninformed by ethical considerations, particularly in comparison to present-day ‘best practice’. This chapter explores a range of conceptions and misconceptions regarding the characteristics, ethical considerations and business practices of ‘medieval man’. The influence of ecclesiastical teaching, particularly the medieval ‘rediscovery’ of Aristotle (384–22 BC) and his integration into a Christian ‘worldview’ by Aquinas (1225–74), on concepts of ‘private property’, ‘fair price’, ‘profit’ and the ‘common good’ is investigated, and the practical application of the implications of these concepts within accounting records is explored, revealing accountability and stewardship to have been as prominent then as they are today.

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