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Consumerism, Marketing, and the Cardinal Virtues



The tendency for consumers to overindulge in purchase activities has been analyzed and discussed since the time of Plato, yet consumerism in today’s marketplace has become increasingly more prominent and pernicious. In this conceptual article, we examine consumerism and discuss the four weaknesses in human nature that promote it. We then apply the four cardinal virtues—moderation, courage, justice, and prudence—and describe how these virtues can be implemented by consumers and producers so as to counteract the weaknesses and result in more effective achievement of the common good. As a result of this application, both consumer decision-making and producer marketing-action should work to promote human flourishing.

Chad Engelland and Brian Engelland, "Consumerism, Marketing, and the Cardinal Virtues," Journal of Markets & Morality 19, no. 2 (Fall 2016): 297-315

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