Universiteit Leiden

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Research project

Hellenistic economic thought

This subproject of 'From Homo Economicus to Political Animal' analyzes Greek economic thinking of the Hellenistic period.

2021 - 2024
Tazuko van Berkel
NWO Vidi NWO Vidi


We are looking for an excellent, highly motivated, enterprising and enthusiastic postdoc to join the project team. Job description and information for applicants can be found here.

Subproject description

The postdoc will analyze Greek economic thinking in the Hellenistic period. This period witnessed a process of consolidation of “economics” as a philosophical genre and knowledge domain in its own right (e.g. Philodemus, Bryson, Stoic fragments); at the same time, economic thought is also developed in other genres and knowledge practices, most notably in utopian literature (e.g. Theompompus of Chios, Euhemerus of Messana). The postdoc project will offer a series of articles on selected topics in Hellenistic economic thought, such as: the relevance of emotions in value theory, debates on private property or division of labor, attitudes towards acquisitiveness, metaphysics of money. But also, what kind of theories of human nature are presupposed by these economic ideas: how do dominant conceptions of human rationality, body-soul dualism or freedom feed into economic ideas? And what kind of knowledge is this economic knowledge? How do specific discursive practices (e.g. utopian discourse, situation ethics, technê literature) shape specific economic ideas?

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