The intellectual foundations of imperial concepts of inequality

McClure, J. (2022) The intellectual foundations of imperial concepts of inequality. Global Intellectual History, (doi: 10.1080/23801883.2022.2062413) (Early Online Publication)

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Abstract

Political and economic discussions of inequality have boomed since the second half of the twentieth century, but concepts of equality and inequality are far older. Understanding the longer intellectual history of inequality helps deepen understandings of how the concept has changed over time, as well as across different societies, and how concepts of equality have been pre-figured to accommodate concepts of inequality. Concepts of equality have been informed by culturally relative theories of justice and beliefs about institutions that can help rationalise situations of inequality. This article examines how Scholastic examinations of equality in Europe during the Middle Ages came to focus both on the importance of property and proportionality, the need to differentiate between people of different status, and how this was developed by the so-called Second Scholastics during the emergence of the Spanish Empire in the sixteenth century and helped lay the foundations for the concepts of inequality that came to structure global imperialism.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Early Online Publication
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:McClure, Dr Julia
Authors: McClure, J.
College/School:College of Arts > School of Humanities > History
Journal Name:Global Intellectual History
Publisher:Taylor and Francis
ISSN:2380-1883
ISSN (Online):2380-1891
Published Online:10 June 2022
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2022 The Authors
First Published:First published in Global Intellectual History 2022
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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