Aristotle and Locke on Capitalism Comparison Essay by Nicky

Aristotle and Locke on Capitalism
A comparative analysis of the views of Aristotle and Locke on property, labor and the capitalist system.
# 148402 | 1,430 words | 1 source | APA | 2011 | US
Published on Oct 18, 2011 in Philosophy (Ancient Greek) , Political Science (John Locke)

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The paper explores the works of Aristotle and John Locke and their themes relating to the inherency of property ownership and the permeation of capitalism. The paper goes on to show how these thinkers are distinct in their understanding of labor as a condition of capitalism, with Aristotle, writing roughly two millennia prior, proving to be the more critical of capitalism.
The paper asserts that though Locke's ideals would be essential in the development of western civilization as it exists today, his vision proves a more idealistic and somewhat flawed prediction of the impact of the free market, while Aristotle offers us a compelling window into the early and obvious objections to the nature of capitalism.

From the Paper:

"Aristotle believed that there was an inevitability by which men would come to adopt their various roles in society, occupying different professions and crafts to be assumed a certain compensatory value. In order to better understand this value, we may consider the ideas of John Locke, who offered such foundational capitalist ideals as those relating supply and demand in a scheme by which pricing is established. Locke placed a high degree of value on the understanding of man's impulses as necessarily feeding into this system, with the human experience precipitating the need or want for certain commodities and the expressed desire to exchange a fair sum for these commodities."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Murray, P. (1997). Reflections on Commercial Life: An Anthology of Classic Texts From Plato to Present. Routledge.

Cite this Comparison Essay:

APA Format

Aristotle and Locke on Capitalism (2011, October 18) Retrieved August 10, 2022, from

MLA Format

"Aristotle and Locke on Capitalism" 18 October 2011. Web. 10 August. 2022. <>