The School of Salamanca

Anthony Pagden

in The Oxford Handbook of the History of Political Philosophy

Published in print May 2011 | ISBN: 9780199238804
Published online September 2011 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Philosophy

The School of Salamanca

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The members of the so-called School of Salamanca (or “Second Scholastic,” as it is sometimes called) were, for the most part, the pupils, and the pupils of the pupils—from Domingo de Soto and Melchor Cano to the great Jesuit metaphysicians Luís de Molina and Francisco Suárez—of Francisco de Vitoria, who held the Prime Chair of Theology at Salamanca between 1526 and his death in 1546. Although they are often described vaguely as “theologians and jurists,” they were all, in fact, theologians. In the early modern world, theology, the “mother of sciences,” was considered to be above all other modes of inquiry, and covered everything that belongs to what today is called jurisprudence, as well as most of moral and political philosophy, and what would later become the human sciences. This article focuses on the Salamanca theologians' discussion of the law of nature—the ius naturae—and of the law of nations (ius gentium), for which reason Vitoria has often been referred to (along with Hugo Grotius) as the “father of international law.”

Keywords: School of Salamanca; theologists; jurisprudence; political philosophy; law of nature; law of nations; Francisco de Vitoria; theology; Domingo de Soto; Melchor Cano

Article.  6095 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy ; History of Western Philosophy ; Social and Political Philosophy

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