My thesis is split into a series of chapters laying out the foundations of investing, different financial systems, ethical theories, and the design of an ethical financial system. The goal of this thesis is to lay out a flourishing financial system. I utilize Islamic finance in connection with traditional ethical theories because, unlike more conventional forms of finance, Islamic finance utilizes nonfinancial criteria and is aimed at promoting social equality.

To start I define investing, highlight examples of virtuous and vicious investing, and explain the different economic systems. The examples will come from how different financial institutions behaved leading up to the 2008 financial crisis. There are three types of systems I evaluated; the free market system, State Socialism, and Islamic finance.

I go into the traditional ethical theories and how they connect to Islamic finance. This part of my thesis shows which ethical theory will be used to build a financial system that leads to flourishing for the society participating in it. I bridge Kantian moral theory and virtue theory together for the purpose of designing a just financial system.

I then begin laying out social capitalism, which I argue is the basis for a financial system that is compatible with justice and promotes social equality. I break the financial system up into spheres and list what the virtues are in each sphere. The goal is to explain the virtues and create the framework for a financial system that flourishes. A flourishing financial system is one that promotes social equality and supports a just state.


Rudisill, John




Ethics and Political Philosophy

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



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