The philosophical roots of development ethics

John Marangos (Attica Bank, Department of Balkan, Slavic and Oriental Studies, University of Macedonia, Thessaloniki, Greece) (Hellenic Open University, Patras, Greece)
Niko Astroulakis (Hellenic Open University, Patras, Greece)
Eirini Triarchi (University of Ioannina, Ioannina, Greece)

International Journal of Social Economics

ISSN: 0306-8293

Publication date: 8 April 2019



The purpose of this paper is to present the philosophical roots of development ethics as a field of study with its interdisciplinary character.


The conceptual and historical evolution of development ethics is unfolded through Aristotle’s philosophy.


The authors argued that Aristotle’s philosophy, incorporating the concepts of “a good life” and “a good society,” defines ethical development and influences contemporary development ethics.


Development ethics is a relatively new field of study within social sciences and determines the ethical perspective of development in a holistic and normative manner. It is important to understand the antecedents, pioneers and contemporary practitioners of development ethics and how they are related. Based on the authors’ knowledge, there has been limited research regarding the origins of the concept of a “good society” as a determinant factor of development. In this context, Aristotle’s philosophy incorporating the concepts of a “good life” and a “good society” is the founding determinant in the study of ethical development.



Marangos, J., Astroulakis, N. and Triarchi, E. (2019), "The philosophical roots of development ethics", International Journal of Social Economics, Vol. 46 No. 4, pp. 523-531.

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