4The satisfaction of wants and the striving to have more

As laid out in the preceding, according to the tradition, society is in the first place a communal set-up based on the satisfaction of needs and wants for the sake of living well (εὖ ζῆν). Human beings lack what they need and want for daily life and are therefore concerned with appropriating what they lack in some way or other, whether it be through their own labour or through exchange. This entrenched thought is often expressed in economics by saying that it is ‘the science of the distribution and use of scarce resources’, a misleading formulation derived from the ontology of whatness that will not concern us further here. Today it is almost beneath the dignity of philosophers to engage ...

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