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Fascinating. I haven't read about this guy, so these quotes are very insightful.

With respect to the first quote, I am forming the impression that most philosophers have ascetic leanings, or at least are neutral about material gain and the pursuit of wealth; the driver of economic growth in the developed world.

It is late and I have much to learn and ponder, but I am led to wonder if there are any philosophers who outrightly promoted the virtues of the capitalist mode...or is this where we have the beginnings of the likes of the philosophies of Adam Smith? Just wondering if there were any promoters of this way of thinking and living when Greek philosophy was in its heyday?

Myself, I take the more ascetic route because I consider myself to weak and vulnerable to the vices and moral traps that are found in chasing the material, but perhaps if I was of stronger mind I could head down this route with a pure and strong mind and spirit.

Any thoughts would be much welcomed by this armchair thinker.

The Financial Philosopher


Your thoughts may work well as a blog post in the future...

For now, I will say that most students of philosophy will agree that Capitalism emanated from individualism, which was made popular by the Greek (western) philosopher, Plato. Inidividualism is the view that individual rights and freedoms should form the basis of society. In contrast, Eastern philosophers, such as Lau-tzu, subscribed primarily to the view of Collectivism, which is the view that the stability of society is more important than individual rights and freedoms...

Thanks again for your thoughts...


"He who knows, does not speak. He who speaks, does not know".

does that mean all the informed blog writers actually do not know much :)

i am just kidding...maybe there is some hidden meaning in that quote.

The Financial Philosopher


I know your tongue was slightly "in cheek" when making your comment but I believe Lau-tzu's words are similar to another of my favorite quotes from Shakespeare: "Have more than thou showest, speak less than thou knowest." In other words don't "show off" and don't be a "know it all!"

I believe you are mostly correct in your suggestion that blog writers actually do not know much. The vast majority of them should follow this wisdom from Sengstan: "Do not search for Truth. Just stop having opinions!"

Thanks for your comment...


Many thanks for the Fed paper reference on risk and uncertainty.

It is the first article I have printed off to read in well over a year. I took it into the garden and sat under the sun whilst absorbing the many messages it had to offer. Much of the content served as a welcome refresher, but there were some nuggets of information that were totally new to me, such as the total collapse (to zero) of the Chinese, Russian, Egyptian and Argentinian stockmarkets in the 20th century.

A point the article doesn't go in to, and one that might be interesting for investigation, is the idea that uncertainty is converted to risk as one's knowledge is increased, but that there comes a point when the economic cost of attaining additional knowledge is lower than the perceived benefit. Thus, we choose to accept a little uncertainty in our decision making, even though we could convert this to more agreeable 'risk' had we the resources.

Also, thanks for the education re individualism and Plato. It could make for a a good reference point from which I can begin an armchair study of philosophy...that said, there is plenty enough on this site to feed my appetite!

The Financial Philosopher


You are truly a "financial philosopher!" Thanks for your thoughts...

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About Kent Thune

  • Kent Thune is a wealth manager, a writer and a philosopher... Read More


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