The Idea and Ideal of Capitalism

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

8 Scopus citations


This article describes the elements of a pure form of capitalism and aims to indicate some of the ways that proponents of capitalism have sought to justify these elements. It analyzes the idea of putting capitalism into distinct elements and asks how each element might be justified with the goal of determining the context in which business ethics occur. It also discusses full capitalist property rights and attempts to describe the aim and social character of the capitalist firm.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Oxford Handbook of Business Ethics
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Print)9780199892174, 9780195307955
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2 2010



  • Business ethics
  • Capitalism
  • Capitalist firm
  • Property rights
  • Social character

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities(all)

Cite this

Gaus, G. F. (2010). The Idea and Ideal of Capitalism. In The Oxford Handbook of Business Ethics Oxford University Press.