Interest

(1) Money earned by money (Usury).

(2) Engagement with a subject on its own terms; encounter with it beyond preoccupation with the self.

(3) Rational advantage—that is, recognition of what you want: it is in your interests to eat if you are hungry. The interest is still rational even if it is mistaken—you eat the food even though you should have suspected it contained salmonella; it is not rational if you know it has salmonella, and you don’t want to get food poisoning, but you eat it all the same. That is not as improbable as it may appear, because of divided intentions. You want to drink five pints; you also want to keep your driving licence. Your decision as to which of those intentions is to be overridden is not necessarily a rational one: it may be a direct, pre-rational expression of who you are, of what your body, its hormones, its addictions, reflexes and nervous system instruct (Identity).

(4) The pathway by which a person formed her opinion on a subject in question: the prior agenda and loyalties that made her think the way she does (Emergence).

(5) The potential for material or other gain from a subject which—unless successfully inhibited by cultural, constitutional or practical constraints—will lead the person to concentrate just on that gain and on the falsehoods and bad faith needed to procure it (Looter’s Ethics).

 

Related entries:

Subjective, Ad Hominem, Incentives, Credit Union, Capital.

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David Fleming
Dr David Fleming (2 January 1940 – 29 November 2010) was an economist, historian and writer, based in London. He was among the first to reveal the possibility of peak oil's approach and invented the influential TEQs scheme, designed to address this and climate change. He was also a significant figure in the development of the UK Green Party, the Transition Towns movement and the New Economics Foundation, as well as a Chairman of the Soil Association. His wide-ranging independent analysis culminated in two critically acclaimed books, Lean Logic and Surviving the Future. A film about his perspective and legacy - The Sequel: What Will Follow Our Troubled Civilisation? - was released in 2019, directed by BAFTA-winning director Peter Armstrong. For more information, including on Lean Logic, click the little globe below!

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