This book combines elements of economic and business history to study business ethics from antiquity to the nineteenth century. This book begins with so-called primitive people, showing how humans began to exchange goods and commodities from trade as a way to keep peace and prosper. The ancients considered the value and ethics of business, and many of their reflections influenced medieval Catholic thinkers and business participants. Protestants elevated working and profit-making to the respectable and virtuous, and some groups, such as Quakers, came to exemplify good business ethics.
This book draws on the work of economists and historians to highlight the importance of changing technologies, religious beliefs, and cultural attitudes, showing that what is considered ethical differs across time and place.
1. You Can’t Live (Well) Without Business Ethics
2. Overview of Business Ethics
3. Primitive Trade
4. Ancient Trade in the Near East
5. Greek Society
6. Roman Society
7. Jewish and Christian Attitudes
8. Islam and Business Ethics
9. Medieval Business Ethics
10. Medieval Ethics and Markets
11. Early-Modern Europe and Resurging Trade
12. Birth of a Consumer Society in Eighteenth-Century England
13. Quakers and Business Ethics
14. Labor Relations Through the Ages
15. Slavery Throughout History
David George Surdam is Professor of Economics at the University of Northern Iowa, USA.
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