Francisco de Vitoria

Francisco de Vitoria

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Francisco de Vitoria, OP (Francisco de Victoria; c. 1492 – 12 August 1546) was a Spanish Renaissance
Renaissance
The Renaissance was a cultural movement that spanned roughly the 14th to the 17th century, beginning in Italy in the Late Middle Ages and later spreading to the rest of Europe. The term is also used more loosely to refer to the historical era, but since the changes of the Renaissance were not...

 Roman Catholic philosopher
Philosophy
Philosophy is the study of general and fundamental problems, such as those connected with existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language. Philosophy is distinguished from other ways of addressing such problems by its critical, generally systematic approach and its reliance on rational...

, theologian
Theology
Theology is the systematic and rational study of religion and its influences and of the nature of religious truths, or the learned profession acquired by completing specialized training in religious studies, usually at a university or school of divinity or seminary.-Definition:Augustine of Hippo...

 and jurist, founder of the tradition in philosophy
Philosophy
Philosophy is the study of general and fundamental problems, such as those connected with existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language. Philosophy is distinguished from other ways of addressing such problems by its critical, generally systematic approach and its reliance on rational...

 known as the School of Salamanca
School of Salamanca
The School of Salamanca is the renaissance of thought in diverse intellectual areas by Spanish and Portuguese theologians, rooted in the intellectual and pedagogical work of Francisco de Vitoria...

, noted especially for his contributions to the theory of just war
Just War
Just war theory is a doctrine of military ethics of Roman philosophical and Catholic origin, studied by moral theologians, ethicists and international policy makers, which holds that a conflict ought to meet philosophical, religious or political criteria.-Origins:The concept of justification for...

 and international law
International law
Public international law concerns the structure and conduct of sovereign states; analogous entities, such as the Holy See; and intergovernmental organizations. To a lesser degree, international law also may affect multinational corporations and individuals, an impact increasingly evolving beyond...

. He is considered by some scholars the "father of international law", though most reject this view. Pagden's
Anthony Pagden
Anthony Robin Dermer Pagden is an author and distinguished professor of political science and history at the University of California, Los Angeles.-Biography:...

 introduction to the Cambridge edition of Vitoria's Political Writings, for instance, argues '[s]uch a notion is anachronistic, since the concept of an "international law" has its origins in the "modern" natural-law theorists, notably Hugo Grotius, Samuel Pufendorf, and John Selden...Vitoria's account of the ius gentium, furthermore, occupies only a small part of his total work, and is not entirely consistent.' Because of Vitoria's conception of a "republic of the whole world" (res publica totius orbis) he recently has been labeled "founder of global political philosophy".

Life



Francisco had Jewish converso
Converso
A converso and its feminine form conversa was a Jew or Muslim—or a descendant of Jews or Muslims—who converted to Catholicism in Spain or Portugal, particularly during the 14th and 15th centuries. Mass conversions once took place under significant government pressure...

 ancestry. He became a Dominican
Dominican Order
The Order of Preachers , after the 15th century more commonly known as the Dominican Order or Dominicans, is a Catholic religious order founded by Saint Dominic and approved by Pope Honorius III on 22 December 1216 in France...

 in 1504, and was educated at the College Saint-Jacques in Paris
Paris
Paris is the capital and largest city in France, situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region...

, where he met Erasmus and went on to teach theology
Theology
Theology is the systematic and rational study of religion and its influences and of the nature of religious truths, or the learned profession acquired by completing specialized training in religious studies, usually at a university or school of divinity or seminary.-Definition:Augustine of Hippo...

 from 1515 (under the influences of Pierre Crockaert and Thomas Cajetan
Thomas Cajetan
Thomas Cajetan , also known as Gaetanus, commonly Tommaso de Vio , was an Italian cardinal. He is perhaps best known among Protestants for his opposition to the teachings of Martin Luther and the Protestant Reformation while he was the Pope's Legate in Wittenberg, and perhaps best known among...

). In 1523 he returned to Spain
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

 to teach theology at the monastery of St. Gregory at Valladolid
Valladolid
Valladolid is a historic city and municipality in north-central Spain, situated at the confluence of the Pisuerga and Esgueva rivers, and located within three wine-making regions: Ribera del Duero, Rueda and Cigales...

. Three years later, he was elected to the Prime Chair of theology at the University of Salamanca
University of Salamanca
The University of Salamanca is a Spanish higher education institution, located in the town of Salamanca, west of Madrid. It was founded in 1134 and given the Royal charter of foundation by King Alfonso IX in 1218. It is the oldest founded university in Spain and the third oldest European...

, where he was instrumental in promoting Thomism
Thomism
Thomism is the philosophical school that arose as a legacy of the work and thought of St. Thomas Aquinas, philosopher, theologian, and Doctor of the Church. In philosophy, his commentaries on Aristotle are his most lasting contribution...

 (the philosophy and theology of St. Thomas Aquinas) until 1546. He renewed the methods of theology and natural or public law.

A noted scholar, he was publicly consulted by Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor
Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor
Charles V was ruler of the Holy Roman Empire from 1519 and, as Charles I, of the Spanish Empire from 1516 until his voluntary retirement and abdication in favor of his younger brother Ferdinand I and his son Philip II in 1556.As...

 and King of Spain. He worked to limit the type of power the Spanish empire imposed on the Native Peoples. He said "The upshot of all the preceding is this, then, that the aborigines undoubtedly had true dominion in both public and private matters, just like Christians, and that neither their princes nor private persons could be despoiled of their property on the ground of their not being true owners." Thomas E. Woods
Thomas Woods
Thomas E. "Tom" Woods, Jr. is an American historian, economist, political analyst, and New York Times-bestselling author. He has written extensively on the subjects of American history, contemporary politics, and economic theory...

 goes on to describe how some wished to argue that the natives lacked reason, but the evidence was against this because the natives had obvious customs, laws, and a form of government. His works are known only from his lecture notes, he himself having published nothing in his lifetime, nevertheless his influence, such as on the Dutch legal philosopher, Hugo Grotius
Hugo Grotius
Hugo Grotius , also known as Huig de Groot, Hugo Grocio or Hugo de Groot, was a jurist in the Dutch Republic. With Francisco de Vitoria and Alberico Gentili he laid the foundations for international law, based on natural law...

, was significant; Relectiones XII Theologicae in duo libros distinctae was published posthumously (Antwerp, 1604).

Works





Notes of his lectures from 1527-1540 were copied by students and published under the following titles:
  • De potestate civili, 1528
  • Del Homicidio, 1530
  • De matrimonio, 1531
  • De potestate ecclesiae I and II, 1532
  • De Indis, 1532
  • De Jure belli Hispanorum in barbaros, 1532
  • De potestate papae et concilii, 1534
  • Relectiones Theologicae, 1557
  • Summa sacramentorum Ecclesiae, 1561
  • De Indis et De Jure Belli (1917 translation of a large part of the Relectiones Theologicae)

Literature

  • Johannes Thumfart: Die Begründung der globalpolitischen Philosophie. Zu Francisco de Vitorias "relectio de indis recenter inventis" von 1539. Berlin 2009. (256 p.).

External links

  • Joseph Schroeder, Francis of Vittoria from Catholic Encyclopedia
    Catholic Encyclopedia
    The Catholic Encyclopedia, also referred to as the Old Catholic Encyclopedia and the Original Catholic Encyclopedia, is an English-language encyclopedia published in the United States. The first volume appeared in March 1907 and the last three volumes appeared in 1912, followed by a master index...

    (1911). Nihil Obstat, September 1, 1909.
  • Rare Books of Spain Francisci de Victoria shows birth date of 1483 as Quoted in the preface of DE INDIS ET DE IVRE BELLI RELECTIONES