Aristotle on Usury

by Dual Income No Kids on May 18, 2009 · 1 comment


Being a university student, I sometimes get to revisit the works of classical philosophers. Well today I came across a wonderful gem by Aristotle – one of the great greek thinkers. If high interest credit cards were around in ancient Greece, Aristotle probably would have taken a dim view of them:

There are two sorts of wealth-getting, as I have said; one is a part of household management, the other is retail trade: the former necessary and honorable, while that which consists in exchange is justly censured; for it is unnatural, and a mode by which men gain from one another. The most hated sort, and with the greatest reason, is usury, which makes a gain out of money itself, and not from the natural object of it. For money was intended to be used in exchange, but not to increase at interest. And this term interest, which means the birth of money from money, is applied to the breeding of money because the offspring resembles the parent. Wherefore of all modes of getting wealth this is the most unnatural.

– Politics, Book X.

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

1 Khiyar August 2, 2011 at 7:31 am

Yes, all major religions ban interest/ usury. It is really against humanity.
What Aristotle said was right.

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