|Title of host publication||Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy|
|Editors||Edward N. Zalta|
|Publisher||Metaphysics Research Lab Center for the Study of Language and Information Stanford University|
|Publication status||Published - 2018|
Philosophy of Money and Financede Bruin, B., Herzog, L. M., O'Neill, M. & Sandberg, J., 2018, Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Zalta, E. N. (ed.). Metaphysics Research Lab Center for the Study of Language and Information Stanford University, (The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy).
Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceeding › Entry for encyclopedia/dictionary › Academic › peer-review
Obviously, a lot has changed since Thales’ times, both in finance and in our ethical and political attitudes towards finance. Coins have largely been replaced by either paper or electronic money, and we have built a large infrastructure to facilitate transactions of money and other financial assets—with elements including commercial banks, central banks, insurance companies, stock exchanges, and investment funds. This institutional multiplicity is due to concerted efforts of both private and public agents, as well as innovations in financial economics and in the financial industry (Shiller 2012).
Our ethical and political sensitivities have also changed in several respects. It seems fair to say that most traditional ethicists held a very negative attitude towards financial activities. Think, for example, of Jesus’ cleansing of the temple from moneylenders, and the widespread condemnation of money as “the root of all evil”. Attitudes in this regard seem to have softened over time. However, the moral debate continues to recur, especially in connection with large scandals and crises within finance, the largest such crisis in recent memory of course being the global financial crisis of 2008.
This article describes what philosophical analysis can say about money and finance. It is divided into five parts that respectively concern (1) what money and finance really are (metaphysics), (2) how knowledge about financial matters is or should be formed (epistemology), (3) the merits and challenges of financial economics (philosophy of science), (4) the many ethical issues related to money and finance (ethics), and (5) the relationship between finance and politics (political philosophy).
|Name||The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy|