Medieval or modern? A scholastic's view of business ethics, circa 1430

Journal of Business Ethics 28 (2):109 - 119 (2000)
There are varying opinions about whether or not the field of business ethics has a history or is a development of more modern times. It is suggested that a book by a Dominican Friar, Johannes Nider, De Contractibus Mercatorum, written ca. 1430 and published ca. 1468 provides a basis for a history of over 500 years. Business ethics grew out of attempts to reconcile Biblical precepts, canon law, civil law, the teachings of the Church Fathers, and the writings of early philosophers with the realities of expanding economic activity. Nider's background is discussed as well as his book as an example of incunabula.Nider was one of the Scholastics who provided a link between Aristotle and later Reformation thinkers. In Nider we find caveat venditor as his moral guide to merchants as well as other surprisingly modern ideas such as justice in exchange; restitution for defective goods; the market as the final arbiter of value; and the importance of creating utility in products.
Keywords business ethics   caveat venditor  contracts of merchants   incunabula  just price  medieval moral philosophy  scholastic economic thought  usury
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Reprint years 2004
DOI 10.1023/A:1006270724454
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Re-Thinking Capitalism: What We Can Learn From Scholasticism?Domènec Melé - 2016 - Journal of Business Ethics 133 (2):293-304.

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