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  • Author: Peter Nickl x
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A Certain Seminal Character of Profit which We Commonly Call “Capital”: Peter of John Olivi and the Tractatus de contractibus

Abstract

Tractatus de contractibus shows that there are mainly three fundamental economic views that characterize the originality and the acuteness of Olivi’s thought: a subject-based theory of value, a theory of just price, and the theoretical-systematic use of the concept of capital. Olivi’s distinction between simply sterile money and fertile, lucrative money – called capitale (capital) – is central. His – at that time – revolutionary thought challenges the theory of money as a mere means of exchange; he acknowledged the legitimacy of trade and the added value (valor superadiunctus) of capital. Thus, he allowed a price as compensation or as remuneration for the owner’s foregone use of the capital. This is not a mere scholastic subtlety, but it is a serious attempt to grasp different phenomena with different concepts.

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