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Democritus's economic ideas in the context of classical political economy


  • Panayotis Michaelides
  • Ourania Kardasi
  • John Milios


This paper argues that the ancient Greek philosopher Democritus expressed many interesting economic ideas, some of which can also be found in the works of the Socratic philosophers. The paper shows that the Abderian philosopher - despite the fact that he did not engage himself primarily with economic issues, as his economic ideas were mainly developed as part of his psychological, ethical and philosophical teaching - is nevertheless a fine example of how ancient Greek thought contributed to the formation of the epistemological presuppositions of Political Economy, making Man the Subject of History and of all Social Process.

Suggested Citation

  • Panayotis Michaelides & Ourania Kardasi & John Milios, 2011. "Democritus's economic ideas in the context of classical political economy," The European Journal of the History of Economic Thought, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 18(1), pages 1-18.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:eujhet:v:18:y:2011:i:1:p:1-18 DOI: 10.1080/09672560903205004

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Heinz Kurz, 2010. "Technical progress, capital accumulation and income distribution in Classical economics: Adam Smith, David Ricardo and Karl Marx," The European Journal of the History of Economic Thought, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 17(5), pages 1183-1222.
    2. Opocher, Arrigo, 2009. "A Dual-Solovian Measure of Productivity Increase and its Early Antecedents," MPRA Paper 15541, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Lydall, Harold, 1969. "On Measuring Technical Progress," Australian Economic Papers, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 8(12), pages 1-12, June.
    4. Dale W. Jorgenson, 1991. "Productivity and Economic Growth," NBER Chapters,in: Fifty Years of Economic Measurement: The Jubilee of the Conference on Research in Income and Wealth, pages 19-118 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Arrigo Opocher, 2010. "The future of the working classes: a comparison between J.S. Mill and A. Marshall," The European Journal of the History of Economic Thought, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 17(2), pages 229-253.
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    Democritus; philosophy; ethics; psychology; economics;


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