St. Thomas Aquinas and the development of natural law in economic thought

Muhammad M. RASHID


Abstract. Building on the system of reason provided for by the Greek philosopher and specifically Aristotle, St. Thomas Aquinas built a comprehensive system and theory of natural law which has lasted through the ages. The theory was further developed in the Middle Ages and in the Enlightenment Ages by many a prominent philosopher and economist and has been recognized in the Modern Age. The natural law-theory and system has been repeatedly applied to the spheres of economic thought and has produced many lasting contributions such as private property rights and individual rights. In recent times with the collapses of the financial system and rapid globalization, there has been a renewed interest in the application of natural law theory to economics to counter a certain anthropology and distortion of values created by a modern economic system of self-preservation deriving its insights from the philosophies of Thomas Hobbes and Niccolo Machiavelli.

Keywords. St. Thomas Aquinas, Natural Law and Economics, Scholasticism, Morality and Markets.

JEL. B00, B10, K00.


St. Thomas Aquinas; Natural Law and Economics; Scholasticism; Morality and Markets.

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