Economic Thinking from Hesiod to Richard Cantillon

AuthorGina Ioan
European Integration - Realities and Perspectives. Proceedings 2016
Economic Thinking from Hesiod to Richard Cantillon
Gina Ioan1
Abstract: The paper makes an analysis between the two effects, considering the general case of an Allen
utility function. We can say that about economics that it is a relatively young science, economic and social
phenomena we find debated in philosophical thinking o f Hesiod Xenophon, Plato, Aristotle. These
phenomena were only economic management rules o f common affairs of the city. Thus, the study of th e
economy began to emerge timidly, gaining not only the form that we know it today, but also the importance
for a developed society, the very cornerstone of its.
Keywords: economic thought; scholasticism; mercantilism
1. Greek Thought
Representative of Austrian Economic School, Murray N. Rothbard, in the work Economic Thought
Before Adam Smith, An Austrian Perspective on the History of Economic Thought, Vol. I, thinks
Hesiod the first economic thinker. In his poem Works and Days, author besides instilling the idea of
justice, talks about the importance of productive work, efficiency, because who is able to work, that
will fulfill its mission.
After 400 years from Hesiod, Xenophon takes the concept of economic efficiency and applicable
across entire economy.
At the end of the fourth century B.C., Athens faces a broad social and political crisis, coupled with a
moral and intellectual crisis. Within the extensive debates on politics, which in fact were critical laws
of the city, stands Plato and his student Aristotle. Plato's ideal city cannot exist without the support of
an ideal economy. Plato considered beneficial to society that the goods to be owned in common, in an
ideal city everything belongs to all. As such, Plato society is divided into three categories: soldiers or
guards, producers (farmers, artisans, merchants) and leaders. The society is equitable only if that ones
who make laws aimed sole purpose, namely, the supreme virtue, the guards defending and producers
take it lying down the authorities. This point of view has led some commentators to talk about Plato's
Unlike Plato, Aristotle devotes more positive side to the economic problems. He is not a supporter of
common possession of the goods, but would endorse for private property, market economy issues
being dealt with by the one of justice always. Trying to understand the mechanisms of market
economy and beyond, we can say that Aristotle is the originator analyzes regarding the theory of value
1 Senior Lecturer, PhD, Department of Finance and Business Administration, Danubius University o f Galati, Romania,
Address: 3 Galati Blvd., Galati 800654, Romania, Tel.: +40372361102, Corresponding author:

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