A History of Balance, 1250-1375: The Emergence of a New Model of Equilibrium and its Impact on Thought

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The ideal of balance and its association with what is ordered, just, and healthful remained unchanged throughout the medieval period. The central place allotted to balance in the workings of nature and society also remained unchanged. What changed within the culture of scholasticism, between approximately 1280 and 1360, was the emergence of a greatly expanded sense of what balance is and can be. In this groundbreaking history of balance, Joel Kaye reveals that this new sense of balance and its potentialities became the basis of a new model of equilibrium, shaped and shared by the most acute and innovative thinkers of the period. Through a focus on four disciplines - scholastic economic thought, political thought, medical thought, and natural philosophy - Kaye's book reveals that this new model of equilibrium opened up striking new vistas of imaginative and speculative possibility, making possible a profound re-thinking of the world and its workings.