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Changes of StateNature and the Limits of the City in Early Modern Natural Law$
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Annabel S. Brett

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780691141930

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691141930.001.0001

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Travelling the borderline

Travelling the borderline

(p.11) Chapter One Travelling the borderline
Changes of State

Annabel S. Brett

Princeton University Press

This chapter looks at Francisco de Vitoria and his Dominican colleagues at the Spanish School of Salamanca in the middle of the sixteenth century. They are famous for their reconstitution and redeployment of Thomas Aquinas's theory of natural law to address the new problems of the sixteenth century, problems that beset Spain along with the rest of Europe: the power of the crown both within its own commonwealth and in relation to other commonwealths, and these powers both within Europe and overseas. For the School's most celebrated member, Francisco de Vitoria, natural law is the law of reason by which all human beings are naturally governed—the law of humanity as such—and, for him as for Aquinas, it ultimately determines the legitimacy of any subsequent human institutions and laws. The chapter also considers Domingo de Soto's The deliberation in the cause of the poor, which was published in 1545.

Keywords:   Francisco de Vitoria, Spanish School of Salamanca, Thomas Aquinas, natural law, law of humanity, Domingo de Soto

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