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The Moral Economy of Saint Thomas Aquinas: Agent Sovereignty, Customary Law and Market Convention

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The ethical authority carried in the conventions of fairness and human well-being has been widely adopted under the idea of "moral economy," forming an eclectic and interdisciplinary debate. Significant, though external to this debate, is a corpus of medieval thought which exhibits a fundamental interest in legitimate market protocols, and the political rights and obligations of agents in relation to the common good of the community. This article asserts the imperative status of a customary basis for understanding not just the analytic version of moral economy but the legacy contained in what might be termed the "the moral economy of Aquinas."

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: School of Social Science, University of New England, Armidale NSW 2351, Australia

Publication date: February 1, 2007

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