Studia Leibnitiana 40 (1):72 - 91 (2008)

Marc Parmentier
Université Charles-de-Gaulle - Lille 3
Discounting the future, i. e., depreciating the value of future properties compared to present ones, represents the main cause of false judgments in ethics for John Locke and Leibniz. This article aims to analyse Locke's attempts to outline the mechanism of discounting the future in his Essay Concerning Human Understanding and Leibniz' efforts to give the phenomenon a mathematical formalization. Locke and Leibniz disagree about its causes and offer different standards of virtue in objecting to it. According to Locke, virtue aims to do away with all forms of discounting while Leibniz argues that the phenomenon can be rationalised using the techniques for cultivating moral virtue as a means of anticipation
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