BY CONVENTION OR BY NATURE: MELANCHTHON'S CRITICISM OF LATE MEDIEVAL OCKHAMIST POLITICAL THOUGHT IN THE COMMENTARII IN ALIQUOT POLITICOS LIBROS ARISTOTEL

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Abstract:

The article argues that existing scholarship has missed Melanchthon's central objective in writing the Commentarii in aliquot politicos libros Aristoteles. Rather than merely criticizing peasants and radical preachers, Melanchthon sought to refute the Ockhamist political thought of Gabriel Biel and John Mair. Using Aristotle's naturalism within the theological framework of the political order as ordained by God, Melanchthon criticized the conventionalist account of the Ockhamists, specifically the principles underlying the case for popular sovereignty or the power of the community over the ruler. Instead he put forward a theory of politics and constitutional monarchy grounded in natural law

Keywords: Aristotle; Lutheran reformation; Natural Law; Philipp Melanchthon; constitutionalism; monarchy; popular sovereignty; scholasticism

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2014

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