A History of Balance, 1250-1375: The Emergence of a New by Joel Kaye

By Joel Kaye

The best of stability and its organization with what's ordered, simply, and healthy remained unchanged in the course of the medieval interval. The imperative position distributed to stability within the workings of nature and society additionally remained unchanged. What replaced in the tradition of scholasticism, among nearly 1280 and 1360, used to be the emergence of a vastly multiplied feel of what stability is and will be. during this groundbreaking historical past of stability, Joel Kaye unearths that this new feel of stability and its prospects grew to become the foundation of a brand new version of equilibrium, formed and shared via the main acute and cutting edge thinkers of the interval. via a spotlight on 4 disciplines - scholastic financial inspiration, political notion, scientific suggestion, and common philosophy - Kaye's e-book finds that this new version of equilibrium unfolded impressive new vistas of resourceful and speculative risk, making attainable a profound re-thinking of the area and its workings.

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Aequalitas in the discourse on usury 39 fixed and knowable numerical equality: the annual payment stipulated in contracts redditus ad vitam must be pegged to the age, health, and probable number of years remaining to the party receiving the annual payment. The total sum of the return must be approximated, insofar as possible, to the original value of the transferred land. 46 Raymond attempted here to fit the census contract, which was very favorable to the economic health of ecclesiastical institutions, to the old model of commutative equality, even though it had doubt and approximation built into it.

Hostiensis did not see a problem here. 27 In Hostiensis’ thought we see the tension that arose from the desire (or pressure) to maintain old ideals in a new and charged economic environment. This tension was reflected in conflicting models of equalization. The old model of a simple arithmetical equality, on the pattern of the mechanical scale balancing two perfectly equal weights at a single point, remained in force, attractive for its simplicity and its clarity, even while it was being severely pressured by the growing recognition that credit transactions occur in weighted social contexts rather than in a static abstract space.

There were also, however, differences sufficiently great to warrant treating each of the two spheres separately. Historians of medieval economic thought have previously noted the extent to which usury theory was constructed around the requirement for equality in the loan contract or mutuum. 2 But even those modern scholars who have been most sensitive to the centrality of equality in usury theory have generally failed to recognize it as a concept in evolution, or even as a concept capable of evolution.

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