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Ordenación de la actividad económica, ley natural y justicia en Aristóteles y en Santo Tomás

Cendejas Bueno, José Luis (2016): Ordenación de la actividad económica, ley natural y justicia en Aristóteles y en Santo Tomás.

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In Aristotle’s thought, economic activity refers to a kind or praxis consisting of allocating human and material means comprising the oikos –the domestic community- to fulfill its natural ends: ensure both life and means of life. By means of natural chrematistics -acquisitive art- families acquire the necessary means for that, coming from production and exchange. Families group together in the political community (polis) whose end is well living, according virtue, outstanding justice as the “perfect virtue”. For its part, the Christian ethos informs this complete system (polis, oikos and chrematistics) ordering towards its ultimate purpose (beatitudo) every human act, internal and external. In St. Thomas view, eternal law constitutes the order of Creation that man can freely accept. This law harmonizes necessity of irrational beings, loving God’s action (divine law), natural law, and the contingency of “human things” that include economy. Trading activity is licit if it is at oikos or polis disposal and according how is exercised, by following commutative justice. Familiar, political and religious man’s nature establishes what the natural-necessary consists of, embracing, apart from body goods, others goods derived from considering social status and the life chosen (civil, religious, active or contemplative). Economic activity based on this anthropological root has a specific place as a part of an ordered natural-legal totality that provides economy with a meaning and a sufficient moral guidance.

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