Economy and Nature in the Fourteenth Century

Money, Market Exchange, and the Emergence of Scientific Thought

Economy and Nature in the Fourteenth Century

Intellectual developments pioneered by scholastic natural philosophers of the fourteenth century constituted a critical stage in the emergence of scientific thought. Beneath these technical developments lay a profound reconceptualization of nature. The purpose of this book is to analyze the components of this reconceptualization, and to speculate on the influences that shaped it. It argues that the transformation of the conceptual model of the natural world c. 1260-1380 was strongly influenced by the rapid monetization of European society during the same period.


"Medievalists have neglected the history of ideas in our generation, but this study shows how it should be revived and practiced." John W. Baldwin, American Historical Review

"...Wealth of accurate and pertinent detail...this book is an excellent case study of the unity of scholastic thought." Edith Dudley Sylla, Journal of Interdisciplinary History

"The book thus illuminates the philosophical underpinnings for Nicole Oresme's forceful condemnation of monetary manipulations, and his subjection of monetary policy to the common good rather than the sovereign's expediency." Fracnçois Velde, Journal of Economic History

"Kaye has made a persuasive case-more carefully researched and extensively analyzed than any previous work along this line." William J. Courtenay, Speculum - A Journal of Medieval Studies


John Nicholas Brown Prize of the Medieval Academy of America