Thanks for this; it’s very helpful.

What I would make of your reply is that time discounting doesn’t justify ‘usury’ in this case — rather, the sanctity of the agreement does. Time discounting shows why I made the agreement, but it doesn’t show that, on purely utilitarian grounds, it’s for the greatest benefit that I honour it.

That’s ok with me, because where I want to get to is that there’s no shortcut to justifying the institution of debt without justifying the importance of keeping promises, honouring contracts, etc.


Lecturer in Philosophy, University of St. Andrews — personal website:

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