The Morality of Money: An Exploration in Analytic Philosophy by Adrian Walsh, Tony Lynch

By Adrian Walsh, Tony Lynch

The morality of intercourse, violence and funds is on the centre of a lot human life. While the 1st were topic to extensive ancient and philosophical research, the latter has principally been ignored. The authors give you the first accomplished advent to the morality of cash.

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It eases the strains of barter exchange and facilitates efficient circulation of goods. On the Aristotelian model, money provides equivalences of a kind. E. 1133–1134] that money acting as a measure ‘makes goods commensurate and equates them’. He does not think that things differing greatly can be made commensurate in reality, but for the purposes of trading they are so. As an example of how money functions, he discusses the commensuration of the values of a house and a bed. Let A be a house, B ten minae, C a bed.

He draws a distinction between the trader on the one hand and his trade on the other. If commerce gave rise to lies and perjuries, then these were not the fault of trade. Sins of this kind had their origins in the person, not the profession. Was it not true that shoemakers and farmers were also capable of lies, perjuries and blasphemies, and yet their profession could not be considered evil? The merchant concluded that if he lived virtuously all would go well with him, but if he lived wickedly it would not be due to his profession but due to his own moral failings.

The jurist and philosopher Cicero (106–43 BC) argued that money-lenders, retail traders and small-time merchants are to be despised. Retail traders have little to gain unless they are very dishonest and then they deserve no credit. Merchant activity was only acceptable if it was undertaken on a large scale and involved imports from all over the world. 55–135 AD) was certainly worried about morally corrosive powers of greed and avarice: Suppose you have once lusted after money: if reason sufficient to produce a sense of evil be applied, then the lust is checked, and the mind at once regains its original authority; whereas if you have recourse to no remedy, you can longer look for this return – on the contrary, the next time it is excited by the corresponding object, the flame of desire leaps up more quickly than before.

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