Dominium, poder civil y su problemática en el Nuevo Mundo según Francisco de Vitoria / Dominium, Civil Power and its Problems in the New World, According to Francisco de Vitoria

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Manuel MÉNDEZ ALONZO

Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to analyze some of the philosophical problems that derived of the Spanish conquest of America in the perspective of the Spanish Dominican Francisco de Vitoria. Specifically this paper will try to prove that Vitoria considered the Indian commonwealths in the New World, or least some of them, as genuine political entities with the same rights to exercise dominium of their lands and goods as their Europeans counterparts. To justify this, it will be necessary to analyzed key concepts in Vitoria’s thought such as dominium, natural law, and the origins of the civil society. Nevertheless, at the end, it will be examined in which ways Vitoria considers Indian commonwealths inferior to the Europeans, in order to justify the Spanish conquista of the New World.

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