St. Thomas Aquinas
SAINT THOMAS AQUINAS   Macroknow Library

On Law, Morality, and Politics.

" . . . To take interest for money lent is unjust in itself, because this is to sell what does not exist, and this evidently leads to inequality, which is contrary to justice. . . Now, money according to the Philosopher1a, was invented chiefly for the purpose of exchange, and, consequently, the proper and principal use of money is its consumption or alienation, whereby it is sunk in exchange. Hence, it is by its very nature unlawful to take payment for the use of money lent, which payment is known as interest, and just as a man is bound to restore other ill-gotten goods, so is he bound to restore the money which he has taken in interest."1 PLATO ARISTOTLE JEFFERSON POUND


1 Saint Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274). On Law, Morality, and Politics. Edited by William P. Baumgarth and Richard J. Regan, S.J. Avatar Books of Cambridge, 1988. Indianapolis, IN: Hackett Publishing Company. (ST II-II, Question 78: Of the Sin of Interest-Taking, 198-209; First Article: Is It a Sin to Take Interest for Money Lent?, 198-202).
a Aristotle (384-322 B.C.).
Politics. Translated by Ernest Barker, revised with an Introduction and Notes by R.F. Stalley. Oxford, England: Oxford University Press, 1995. (The trade of the petty usurer, at 29-30 (1258a35).)