Athenian Economy Past & Future
Modern economists usually are concerned with how people behave while classical writers such as Aristotle, Plato, and others were more interested in how people should behave. This is an ethical difference between today and economics in Classical Ancient Greece which we will explore. We will briefly go over the fundamentals of the Ancient Athenian Economy and society which will provide a background for understanding the economic thoughts of Plato and Aristotle. Both Plato and Aristotle promoted a small self-sufficient economy and disapproved of greedy profit-taking in reaction to the flourishing market economy in fourth-century Athens. They were more concerned with justice than market equilibrium. They found value in what is good rather than what is conducive to pleasure. The economic thoughts of Plato and Aristotle, and their ethical theories, will help us to re-evaluate our values. We will discuss their significance and how these affected the development of the Ancient Athenian Economy and how these compare to what is today our modern economy. Then we will transition into how these values have evolved today and how these might shape the Athenian Economy in the future.