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Vitoria, Francisco de (c.1486–1546)

DOI
10.4324/9780415249126-S084-1
DOI: 10.4324/9780415249126-S084-1
Version: v1,  Published online: 1998
Retrieved May 30, 2020, from https://www.rep.routledge.com/articles/biographical/vitoria-francisco-de-c-1486-1546/v-1

Article Summary

Francisco de Vitoria, who spent most of his working life as Prime Professor of Theology at Salamanca, Spain, was one of the most influential political theorists in sixteenth-century Catholic Europe. By profession he was a theologian, but like all theologians of the period he regarded theology as the ’mother of sciences’, whose domain covered everything governed by divine or natural, rather than human, law; everything, that is, which belonged to what we would describe as jurisprudence. Vitoria’s writings covered a wide variety of topics, from the possibility of magic to the acceptability of suicide. But it is on those which deal with the most contentious juridical issues of the period – the nature of civil power and of kingship, the power of the papacy and, above all, the legitimacy of the Spanish conquest of America – that his fame chiefly rests.

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Citing this article:
Pagden, Anthony. Vitoria, Francisco de (c.1486–1546), 1998, doi:10.4324/9780415249126-S084-1. Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Taylor and Francis, https://www.rep.routledge.com/articles/biographical/vitoria-francisco-de-c-1486-1546/v-1.
Copyright © 1998-2020 Routledge.

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