Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


This dissertation analyzes the contributions to the economic analysis of welfare made by the ancient Greek philosopher Plato. Heretofore unexamined, these contributions demonstrate the importance of the development of notions of sufficiency and moderation as integral parts of welfare analysis. This dissertation also examines the significance of Plato's method of inquiry into matters of social science for contemporary economic analysis. In particular, the importance of metamathematical induction for the acquisition of knowledge of the values upon which welfare depend is analyzed in the form that it is employed in Plato's dialogues. This analysis is conducted to the end that economists might push beyond the aporetic conclusions of contemporary welfare analysis. Finally, this dissertation explores the possibility that medieval theories of usury and the just price are rooted in the philosophy of Plato. It is widely conjectured that the theories of the Schoolmen derive from the Aristotelian and Roman theories of usury and the just price. This dissertation suggests that the theories of Aristotle, in turn, follow the same principles as Plato's analysis of just value.