‘Heresy’ in Quercy in the 1240s: Authorities and Audiences
This chapter argues the mechanisms of fair trade can be grounded in Scholastic economic thought. It is a modern vehicle for the concerns of the schoolmen that economic activity should promote justice in individual exchanges. In the UK, the Fairtrade Foundation certifies most retail sales of fairly traded goods. It has reported an increase in sales from 50.5m to 1,127m between 2001 and 2010. By the middle of the thirteenth century, a strongly teleological, Christianized understanding of natural law theory had become the framework for much Scholastic analysis. Modern economists tend to find medieval economic philosophy as rebarbative as medieval historians find economic theory. Perhaps more economists would share this feeling, were they even aware of the field's existence. Some standard surveys of economic thought, such as those by Charles Gide and Charles Rist, Mark Blaug or Denis O'Brien, simply begin history with Adam Smith or his immediate predecessors in the early eighteenth century.