Missing in the debate on the ‘responsibility’ of research, innovation, and business is an examination of a possible conflict between the quest for ‘responsibility’ and the normative economic principles or ‘micro-economic foundations’ that guide the world’s financial capital and therefore determine which businesses, innovations and research are and which are not funded. As a result, much research and innovation that is deemed responsible will not materialise. We propose that such conflict can be resolved by re-examining our understanding of choice and capital, and by recognising mainstream economics’ utilitarian foundation – homo economicus − as an unduly restrictive version of a wider Aristotelian understanding of choice.