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Narcissistic Behavior and the Economy: The Role of Virtues

Surendra Arjoon


Several prominent commentators and academics have asserted that the current global financial crisis was caused, in part, by the narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) of corporate leaders who substituted robust risk management for greed and personal gains by promoting self-serving and grandiose aims. In order to better understand and deal with NPD, the notions of individuality and personality are explored in arguing that the narcissists moral failings and loss of sense of reality stem from a spiritual disease, namely, an intellectual pride and selfishness of the will. By cultivating both the intellectual and moral virtues, one can transcend the limitations of ones disordered personality through an intellectual and moral effort motivated by the love of what is true and good. What is therefore required for the proper functioning of the economy is not only financial and social capital, but it must be built on the practice of the virtues.

Surendra Arjoon, "Narcissistic Behavior and the Economy: The Role of Virtues," Journal of Markets & Morality 13, no. 1 (Spring 2010): 59-82

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