Leonidas Zelmanovitz, The Ontology and Function of Money: The Philosophical Fundamentals of Monetary Institutions
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Leonidas Zelmanovitz’s The Ontology and Function of Money is divided into four sections (with a fifth for appendices), each dealing with a separate philosophical aspect of money. The first section is titled ‘Metaphysics’ and explores key concepts concerning money’s origin and social role. The first chapter considers how money arises in society, adjudicating between the ‘catallactic’ theory of Menger and the ‘chartalist’ or ‘state’ theory advocated by thinkers such as Knapp Lerner. The second chapter is a whirlwind tour of monetary thought going back to Aristotle, proceeding through the Schoolmen, and culminating in marginal utility analyses of money. The third chapter continues the history of thought perspective but focuses specifically on Menger and Mises, as well as Simmel, a relatively unknown figure to many monetary scholars whose analyses of the increasing ‘abstraction’ of money in society does much work in subsequent chapters.
The second section, ‘Epistemology,’ treats questions...
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