A Historical Survey of an Everlasting Debate: The Nature of Interest

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Abstract (2. Language): 
The concept of interest has been discussed from various perspectives so far and it will be probably continued to be discussed. Contrary to the economists like Alfred Marshall, who argued for the necessity of interest for savings and capital accumulation; some other economists like J.M.Keynes, who characterized it as a barrier to capital accumulation, have been seen as well. Besides the views asserting that interest is a just and beneficial tool for the economic system to stand, some other opinions contending that it is unjust and leads to some costs more than benefits have been put into words as well. Although interest has been criticized throughout the history, it maintained its existence. At the present time, it is applied almost in every country. In this study, most of the philosophic, economic and religious interest- related thoughts from antiguity to the present will be analyzed within the framework of their arguments on the nature of interest, namely, its justness, costs and benefits. Our target is to find an answer to the question of what the nature of interest is by making use of the arguments of the thoughts in question.

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