Review - School of Salamanca (Hutchinson)

Review - School of Salamanca (Hutchinson) - Marjorie...

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Marjorie Grice-Hutchinson’s work introduces us to the Spanish Schoolmen, who were striving in the middle of the sixteenth century to adjust the teachings of St. Thomas Aquinas to a situation caused by the end of the Moorish wars, the unification of Spain and the economic shock following the huge influx of American silver. She offers a good deal more than the "Readings" in her subtitle -- in fact, well over half of her book consists of a treatment of the intellectual and economic atmosphere of 16th-century Spain. The new American treasure was operating on the domestic price level and the machinery of elaborate exchange transactions was rapidly developing. New rules of commercial morality were needed: prices were no longer obviously just or unjust, and the conveyance of large sums of money over time and space confused the doctrine of usury. A hitherto static world, where goods had been exchanged at "just prices" and incomes, especially profits were restricted to "customary standards of living," was shaken from top to bottom by a great inflation. Some aspects of this
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