Francisco Suárez
Overview
 
Francisco Suárez was a Spanish
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...

 Jesuit priest, philosopher and 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...

, one of the leading figures of 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...

 movement, and generally regarded among the greatest scholastics
Scholasticism
Scholasticism is a method of critical thought which dominated teaching by the academics of medieval universities in Europe from about 1100–1500, and a program of employing that method in articulating and defending orthodoxy in an increasingly pluralistic context...

 after Thomas Aquinas
Thomas Aquinas
Thomas Aquinas, O.P. , also Thomas of Aquin or Aquino, was an Italian Dominican priest of the Catholic Church, and an immensely influential philosopher and theologian in the tradition of scholasticism, known as Doctor Angelicus, Doctor Communis, or Doctor Universalis...

.
Francisco Suárez was born in Granada
Granada
Granada is a city and the capital of the province of Granada, in the autonomous community of Andalusia, Spain. Granada is located at the foot of the Sierra Nevada mountains, at the confluence of three rivers, the Beiro, the Darro and the Genil. It sits at an elevation of 738 metres above sea...

, Andalusia
Andalusia
Andalusia is the most populous and the second largest in area of the autonomous communities of Spain. The Andalusian autonomous community is officially recognised as a nationality of Spain. The territory is divided into eight provinces: Huelva, Seville, Cádiz, Córdoba, Málaga, Jaén, Granada and...

 (southern 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...

).

At age sixteen Suárez entered the Society of Jesus
Society of Jesus
The Society of Jesus is a Catholic male religious order that follows the teachings of the Catholic Church. The members are called Jesuits, and are also known colloquially as "God's Army" and as "The Company," these being references to founder Ignatius of Loyola's military background and a...

 in Salamanca
Salamanca
Salamanca is a city in western Spain, in the community of Castile and León. Because it is known for its beautiful buildings and urban environment, the Old City was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1988. It is the most important university city in Spain and is known for its contributions to...

, and he studied 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...

 and 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...

 there for five years from 1565 to 1570. It seems he was not a promising student at first; in fact, he nearly gave up his matters of study after failing the entrance exam twice.
Encyclopedia
Francisco Suárez was a Spanish
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...

 Jesuit priest, philosopher and 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...

, one of the leading figures of 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...

 movement, and generally regarded among the greatest scholastics
Scholasticism
Scholasticism is a method of critical thought which dominated teaching by the academics of medieval universities in Europe from about 1100–1500, and a program of employing that method in articulating and defending orthodoxy in an increasingly pluralistic context...

 after Thomas Aquinas
Thomas Aquinas
Thomas Aquinas, O.P. , also Thomas of Aquin or Aquino, was an Italian Dominican priest of the Catholic Church, and an immensely influential philosopher and theologian in the tradition of scholasticism, known as Doctor Angelicus, Doctor Communis, or Doctor Universalis...

.

Life and career

Francisco Suárez was born in Granada
Granada
Granada is a city and the capital of the province of Granada, in the autonomous community of Andalusia, Spain. Granada is located at the foot of the Sierra Nevada mountains, at the confluence of three rivers, the Beiro, the Darro and the Genil. It sits at an elevation of 738 metres above sea...

, Andalusia
Andalusia
Andalusia is the most populous and the second largest in area of the autonomous communities of Spain. The Andalusian autonomous community is officially recognised as a nationality of Spain. The territory is divided into eight provinces: Huelva, Seville, Cádiz, Córdoba, Málaga, Jaén, Granada and...

 (southern 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...

).

At age sixteen Suárez entered the Society of Jesus
Society of Jesus
The Society of Jesus is a Catholic male religious order that follows the teachings of the Catholic Church. The members are called Jesuits, and are also known colloquially as "God's Army" and as "The Company," these being references to founder Ignatius of Loyola's military background and a...

 in Salamanca
Salamanca
Salamanca is a city in western Spain, in the community of Castile and León. Because it is known for its beautiful buildings and urban environment, the Old City was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1988. It is the most important university city in Spain and is known for its contributions to...

, and he studied 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...

 and 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...

 there for five years from 1565 to 1570. It seems he was not a promising student at first; in fact, he nearly gave up his matters of study after failing the entrance exam twice. After passing the exam at third attempt, though, things changed, and he completed his course of Philosophy with distinction, going on to study Theology, to then teach Philosophy in Ávila and Segovia
Segovia
Segovia is a city in Spain, the capital of Segovia Province in the autonomous community of Castile and León. It is situated north of Madrid, 30 minutes by high speed train. The municipality counts some 55,500 inhabitants.-Etymology:...

. He was ordained
Ordination
In general religious use, ordination is the process by which individuals are consecrated, that is, set apart as clergy to perform various religious rites and ceremonies. The process and ceremonies of ordination itself varies by religion and denomination. One who is in preparation for, or who is...

 in 1572, and taught Theology in Ávila, Segovia (1575), 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...

 (1576), Rome
Rome
Rome is the capital of Italy and the country's largest and most populated city and comune, with over 2.7 million residents in . The city is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, on the Tiber River within the Lazio region of Italy.Rome's history spans two and a half...

 (1580–85), Alcalá
Alcalá de Henares
Alcalá de Henares , meaning Citadel on the river Henares, is a Spanish city, whose historical centre is one of UNESCO's World Heritage Sites, and one of the first bishoprics founded in Spain...

 (1585–92), Salamanca (1592–97), and Coimbra
Coimbra
Coimbra is a city in the municipality of Coimbra in Portugal. Although it served as the nation's capital during the High Middle Ages, it is better-known for its university, the University of Coimbra, which is one of the oldest in Europe and the oldest academic institution in the...

 (1597–1616).

He wrote on a wide variety of subjects, producing a vast amount of work (his complete works in Latin
Latin
Latin is an Italic language originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It, along with most European languages, is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Although it is considered a dead language, a number of scholars and members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and...

 amount to twenty-six volumes). Suárez writings include treatises on law
Law
Law is a system of rules and guidelines which are enforced through social institutions to govern behavior, wherever possible. It shapes politics, economics and society in numerous ways and serves as a social mediator of relations between people. Contract law regulates everything from buying a bus...

, the relationship between Church and State, metaphysics
Metaphysics
Metaphysics is a branch of philosophy concerned with explaining the fundamental nature of being and the world, although the term is not easily defined. Traditionally, metaphysics attempts to answer two basic questions in the broadest possible terms:...

, and theology. He is considered the godfather of International Law and his Disputationes metaphysicae were widely read in Europe during the seventeenth century and is considered by some scholars to be his most profound work.

Suárez was regarded during his lifetime as being the greatest living philosopher and theologian, and given the nickname
Nickname
A nickname is "a usually familiar or humorous but sometimes pointed or cruel name given to a person or place, as a supposedly appropriate replacement for or addition to the proper name.", or a name similar in origin and pronunciation from the original name....

 Doctor Eximius et Pius; Pope Gregory XIII
Pope Gregory XIII
Pope Gregory XIII , born Ugo Boncompagni, was Pope from 1572 to 1585. He is best known for commissioning and being the namesake for the Gregorian calendar, which remains the internationally-accepted civil calendar to this date.-Youth:He was born the son of Cristoforo Boncompagni and wife Angela...

 attended his first lecture in Rome. Pope Paul V
Pope Paul V
-Theology:Paul met with Galileo Galilei in 1616 after Cardinal Bellarmine had, on his orders, warned Galileo not to hold or defend the heliocentric ideas of Copernicus. Whether there was also an order not to teach those ideas in any way has been a matter for controversy...

 invited him to refute the errors of James I of England
James I of England
James VI and I was King of Scots as James VI from 24 July 1567 and King of England and Ireland as James I from the union of the English and Scottish crowns on 24 March 1603...

, and wished to retain him near his person, to profit by his knowledge. Philip II of Spain
Philip II of Spain
Philip II was King of Spain, Portugal, Naples, Sicily, and, while married to Mary I, King of England and Ireland. He was lord of the Seventeen Provinces from 1556 until 1581, holding various titles for the individual territories such as duke or count....

 sent him to the University of Coimbra in order to give it prestige, and when Suárez visited the University of Barcelona
University of Barcelona
The University of Barcelona is a public university located in the city of Barcelona, Catalonia in Spain. It is a member of the Coimbra Group, LERU, European University Association, Mediterranean Universities Union, International Research Universities Network and Vives Network...

, the doctors
Doctorate
A doctorate is an academic degree or professional degree that in most countries refers to a class of degrees which qualify the holder to teach in a specific field, A doctorate is an academic degree or professional degree that in most countries refers to a class of degrees which qualify the holder...

 of the university went out to meet him wearing the insignia
Insignia
Insignia or insigne pl -nia or -nias : a symbol or token of personal power, status or office, or of an official body of government or jurisdiction...

 of their faculties.

After his death in Portugal
Portugal
Portugal , officially the Portuguese Republic is a country situated in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. Portugal is the westernmost country of Europe, and is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the West and South and by Spain to the North and East. The Atlantic archipelagos of the...

 (in either Lisbon
Lisbon
Lisbon is the capital city and largest city of Portugal with a population of 545,245 within its administrative limits on a land area of . The urban area of Lisbon extends beyond the administrative city limits with a population of 3 million on an area of , making it the 9th most populous urban...

 or Coimbra
Coimbra
Coimbra is a city in the municipality of Coimbra in Portugal. Although it served as the nation's capital during the High Middle Ages, it is better-known for its university, the University of Coimbra, which is one of the oldest in Europe and the oldest academic institution in the...

) his reputation grew still greater, and he had a direct influence on such leading philosophers as 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...

, René Descartes
René Descartes
René Descartes ; was a French philosopher and writer who spent most of his adult life in the Dutch Republic. He has been dubbed the 'Father of Modern Philosophy', and much subsequent Western philosophy is a response to his writings, which are studied closely to this day...

, John Norris
John Norris
John Norris, sometimes called John Norris of Bemerton, was an English theologian, philosopher and poet associated with the Cambridge Platonists.-Life:...

, and Gottfried Leibniz
Gottfried Leibniz
Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz was a German philosopher and mathematician. He wrote in different languages, primarily in Latin , French and German ....

.

In 1679 Pope Innocent XI
Pope Innocent XI
Blessed Pope Innocent XI , born Benedetto Odescalchi, was Pope from 1676 to 1689.-Early life:Benedetto Odescalchi was born at Como in 1611 , the son of a Como nobleman, Livio Odescalchi, and Paola Castelli Giovanelli from Gandino...

 publicly condemned sixty-five casuist
Casuistry
In applied ethics, casuistry is case-based reasoning. Casuistry is used in juridical and ethical discussions of law and ethics, and often is a critique of principle- or rule-based reasoning...

 propositions, taken chiefly from the writings of Escobar
Antonio Escobar y Mendoza
Antonio Escobar y Mendoza was a Spanish churchman of illustrious descent.Born in Valladolid, he was educated by the Jesuits, and at the age of fifteen took the habit of that order. He soon became a famous preacher. In addition he was a voluminous writer, and his collected works fill eighty-three...

, Suárez and others, mostly Jesuit, theologians as propositiones laxorum moralistarum and forbade anyone to teach them under penalty of excommunication
Excommunication
Excommunication is a religious censure used to deprive, suspend or limit membership in a religious community. The word means putting [someone] out of communion. In some religions, excommunication includes spiritual condemnation of the member or group...

.

Philosophical thought

His most important philosophical achievements were in metaphysics and the philosophy of law. Suárez may be considered almost the last eminent representative of scholasticism
Scholasticism
Scholasticism is a method of critical thought which dominated teaching by the academics of medieval universities in Europe from about 1100–1500, and a program of employing that method in articulating and defending orthodoxy in an increasingly pluralistic context...

. He adhered to a moderate form of 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...

 and developed metaphysics as a systematic enquiry.

Metaphysics

For Suárez, metaphysics was the science of real essences (and existence); it was mostly concerned with real being rather than conceptual being, and with immaterial rather than with material being. He held (along with earlier scholastics) that essence and existence are the same in the case of God (see ontological argument
Ontological argument
The ontological argument for the existence of God is an a priori argument for the existence of God. The ontological argument was first proposed by the eleventh-century monk Anselm of Canterbury, who defined God as the greatest possible being we can conceive...

), but disagreed with Aquinas and others that the essence and existence of finite beings are really distinct. He argued that in fact they are merely conceptually distinct: rather than being really separable, they can only logically be conceived as separate.

On the vexed subject of universals, he endeavored to steer a middle course between the realism
Philosophical realism
Contemporary philosophical realism is the belief that our reality, or some aspect of it, is ontologically independent of our conceptual schemes, linguistic practices, beliefs, etc....

 of Duns Scotus
Duns Scotus
Blessed John Duns Scotus, O.F.M. was one of the more important theologians and philosophers of the High Middle Ages. He was nicknamed Doctor Subtilis for his penetrating and subtle manner of thought....

 and the nominalism
Nominalism
Nominalism is a metaphysical view in philosophy according to which general or abstract terms and predicates exist, while universals or abstract objects, which are sometimes thought to correspond to these terms, do not exist. Thus, there are at least two main versions of nominalism...

 of William of Occam. His position is a little bit closer to nominalism than that of Thomas Aquinas
Thomas Aquinas
Thomas Aquinas, O.P. , also Thomas of Aquin or Aquino, was an Italian Dominican priest of the Catholic Church, and an immensely influential philosopher and theologian in the tradition of scholasticism, known as Doctor Angelicus, Doctor Communis, or Doctor Universalis...

. Sometimes he is classified as a moderate nominalist, but his admitting of objective precision
Objective precision
Objective precision is a philosophical term used in late and especially second scholasticism describing the "objective" aspect of abstraction...

 (praecisio obiectiva) ranks him with moderate realists. The only veritable and real unity in the world of existences is the individual; to assert that the universal exists separately ex parte rei would be to reduce individuals to mere accidents of one indivisible form. Suárez maintains that, though the humanity of Socrates does not differ from that of Plato, yet they do not constitute realiter one and the same humanity; there are as many "formal unities" (in this case, humanities) as there are individuals, and these individuals do not constitute a factual, but only an essential or ideal unity ("ita ut plura individua, quae dicuntur esse ejusdem naturae, non sint unum quid vera entitate quae sit in rebus, sed solum fundamentaliter vel per intellectum"). The formal unity, however, is not an arbitrary creation of the mind, but exists "in natura rei ante omnem operationem intellectus."

His metaphysical work, giving a remarkable effort of systematisation, is a real history of medieval thought, combining the three schools available at that time: 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...

, Scotism
Scotism
Scotism is the name given to the philosophical and theological system or school named after Blessed John Duns Scotus. The word comes from the name of its originator, whose Opus Oxoniense was one of the most important documents in medieval philosophy and Roman Catholic theology, defining what would...

 and Nominalism
Nominalism
Nominalism is a metaphysical view in philosophy according to which general or abstract terms and predicates exist, while universals or abstract objects, which are sometimes thought to correspond to these terms, do not exist. Thus, there are at least two main versions of nominalism...

. He is also a deep commentator of Arabic or high medieval works. He enjoyed the reputation of being the greatest metaphysician of his time. He thus founded a school of his own, Suarezianism, the chief characteristic principles of which are:
  • the principle of individuation
    Principle of individuation
    The Principle of Individuation is a criterion which supposedly individuates or numerically distinguishes the members of the kind for which it is given, i.e. by which we can supposedly determine, regarding any kind of thing, when we have more than one of them or not. It is also known as a...

     by the proper concrete entity of beings
  • the rejection of pure potentiality of matter
  • the singular as the object of direct intellectual cognition
  • a distinctio rationis ratiocinatae between the essence and the existence of created beings
  • the possibility of spiritual substance only numerically distinct from one another
  • ambition for the hypostatic union as the sin of the fallen angels
  • the Incarnation of the Word, even if Adam had not sinned
  • the solemnity of the vow only in ecclesiastical law
  • the system of Congruism that modifies Molinism
    Molinism
    Molinism, named after 16th Century Jesuit theologian Luis de Molina, is a religious doctrine which attempts to reconcile the providence of God with human free will. William Lane Craig is probably its best known advocate today, though other important Molinists include Alfred Freddoso, Alvin...

     by the introduction of subjective circumstances, as well as of place and of time, propitious to the action of efficacious grace, and with predestination ante praevisa merita
  • the possibility of holding one and the same truth by both science and faith
  • the belief in Divine authority contained in an act of faith
  • the production of the body and blood of Christ by transubstantiation
    Transubstantiation
    In Roman Catholic theology, transubstantiation means the change, in the Eucharist, of the substance of wheat bread and grape wine into the substance of the Body and Blood, respectively, of Jesus, while all that is accessible to the senses remains as before.The Eastern Orthodox...

     as constituting the Eucharistic sacrifice
  • the final grace of the Blessed Virgin Mary superior to that of the angels and saints combined.


Suárez made an important classification of being in Disputationes Metaphysicae (1597), which influenced the further development of theology within Catholicism (his fellow Jesuit Pedro da Fonseca
Pedro da Fonseca (philosopher)
Pedro da Fonseca was a Portuguese Jesuit philosopher and theologian. His work on logic and metaphysics made him known in his time as the Portuguese Aristotle.-Works:* Institutionum Dialecticarum. Lisbon: 1564....

 having a powerful effect on Protestant Scholastic thought in the 16th and 17th centuries). In the second part of the book, disputations 28-53, Suárez fixes the distinction between ens infinitum (God) and ens finitum (created beings). The first division of being is that between ens infinitum and ens finitum. Instead of dividing being into infinite and finite, it can also be divided into ens a se and ens ab alio, i.e., being that is from itself and being that is from another. A second distinction corresponding to this one:ens necessarium and ens contingens, i.e., necessary being and contingent being. Still another formulation of the distinction is between ens per essentiam and ens per participationem, i.e., being that exists by reason of its essence and being that exists only by participation in a being that exists on its own (eigentlich). A further distinction is between ens increatum and ens creatum, i.e., uncreated being and created, or creaturely, being. A final distinction is between being as actus purus and being as ens potentiale, i.e., being as pure actuality and being as potential being. Suárez decided in favor of the first classification of the being into ens infinitum and ens finitum as the most fundamental, in connection with which he accords the other classifications their due.

Theology

In theology, Suárez attached himself to the doctrine of Luis Molina
Luis Molina
Luis de Molina , was a Spanish Jesuit priest and a staunch Scholastic defender of 'human liberty' in the Divine grace and human liberty controversy of the Renaissance ....

, the celebrated Jesuit professor of Évora. Molina tried to reconcile the doctrine of predestination
Predestination
Predestination, in theology is the doctrine that all events have been willed by God. John Calvin interpreted biblical predestination to mean that God willed eternal damnation for some people and salvation for others...

 with the freedom of the human will and the predestinarian teachings of the Dominicans
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...

 by saying that the predestination is consequent upon God's foreknowledge of the free determination of man's will, which is therefore in no way affected by the fact of such predestination. Suárez endeavoured to reconcile this view with the more orthodox doctrines of the efficacy of grace and special election, maintaining that, though all share in an absolutely sufficient grace, there is granted to the elect a grace which is so adapted to their peculiar dispositions and circumstances that they infallibly, though at the same time quite freely, yield themselves to its influence. This mediatizing system was known by the name of "congruism."

Philosophy of law

Here Suárez' main importance stems probably from his work on natural law
Natural law
Natural law, or the law of nature , is any system of law which is purportedly determined by nature, and thus universal. Classically, natural law refers to the use of reason to analyze human nature and deduce binding rules of moral behavior. Natural law is contrasted with the positive law Natural...

, and from his arguments concerning positive law
Positive law
Positive law is the term generally used to describe man-made laws which bestow specific privileges upon, or remove them from, an individual or group...

 and the status of a monarch
Monarch
A monarch is the person who heads a monarchy. This is a form of government in which a state or polity is ruled or controlled by an individual who typically inherits the throne by birth and occasionally rules for life or until abdication...

. In his extensive work Tractatus de legibus ac deo legislatore (reprinted, London, 1679) he is to some extent the precursor of Grotius and Samuel Pufendorf, in making an important distinction between natural law and international law, which he saw as based on custom. Though his method is throughout scholastic, he covers the same ground, and Grotius speaks of him in terms of high respect. The fundamental position of the work is that all legislative as well as all paternal power is derived from God, and that the authority of every law resolves itself into His. Suárez refutes the patriarchal theory of government and the divine right of kings founded upon it---doctrines popular at that time in England and to some extent on the Continent. He argued against the sort of social-contract
Social contract
The social contract is an intellectual device intended to explain the appropriate relationship between individuals and their governments. Social contract arguments assert that individuals unite into political societies by a process of mutual consent, agreeing to abide by common rules and accept...

 theory that became dominant among early-modern political philosophers
Political philosophy
Political philosophy is the study of such topics as liberty, justice, property, rights, law, and the enforcement of a legal code by authority: what they are, why they are needed, what, if anything, makes a government legitimate, what rights and freedoms it should protect and why, what form it...

 such as Thomas Hobbes
Thomas Hobbes
Thomas Hobbes of Malmesbury , in some older texts Thomas Hobbs of Malmsbury, was an English philosopher, best known today for his work on political philosophy...

 and John Locke
John Locke
John Locke FRS , widely known as the Father of Liberalism, was an English philosopher and physician regarded as one of the most influential of Enlightenment thinkers. Considered one of the first of the British empiricists, following the tradition of Francis Bacon, he is equally important to social...

, but some of his thinking found echoes in the more liberal, Lockean contract theorists.

Human beings, argued Suárez, have a natural social nature bestowed upon them by God, and this includes the potential to make laws. But when a political society is formed, the authority of the state is not of divine but of human origin; therefore, its nature is chosen by the people involved, and their natural legislative power is given to the ruler. Because they gave this power, they have the right to take it back, to revolt against a ruler — but only if the ruler behaves badly towards them, and they're obliged to act moderately and justly. In particular, the people must refrain from killing the ruler, no matter how tyrannical he may have become. If a government is imposed on people, on the other hand, they not only have the right to defend themselves by revolting against it, they are entitled to kill the tyrannical ruler.

In 1613, at the instigation of Pope Paul V
Pope Paul V
-Theology:Paul met with Galileo Galilei in 1616 after Cardinal Bellarmine had, on his orders, warned Galileo not to hold or defend the heliocentric ideas of Copernicus. Whether there was also an order not to teach those ideas in any way has been a matter for controversy...

, Suárez wrote a treatise dedicated to the Christian princes of Europe, entitled Defensio catholicae fidei contra anglicanae sectae errores. This was directed against the oath of allegiance which James I
James I of England
James VI and I was King of Scots as James VI from 24 July 1567 and King of England and Ireland as James I from the union of the English and Scottish crowns on 24 March 1603...

 required from his subjects. James (himself a talented scholar) caused it to be burned by the common hangman, and forbade its perusal under the 'severest penalties, complaining bitterly to Philip III
Philip III of Spain
Philip III , also known as Philip the Pious, was the King of Spain and King of Portugal and the Algarves, where he ruled as Philip II , from 1598 until his death...

 that he should harbour in his dominions a declared enemy of the throne and majesty of kings.

Works

The Disputationes Metaphysicae (1597) were published in the Seventeenth Century by the Portugal Jesuits. In the Eighteen Century, the Venice edition in 23 volumes in folio (1740–1757) appeared, followed by the Parisian Vivès edition, 28 volumes (1856–1861); in 1965 the Vivés edition of the Disputationes Metaphysicae was reprinted by Georg Olms, Hildesheim. No modern edition of Suárez's complete works is yet available. Several current to semi-current translations of Suárez's Disputations have recently been re-translated or translated into English for the first time. An effort is underway to try to provide a complete contemporary English translation of the "Disputationes Metaphysicae".

Influence

The contributions of Suarez to metaphysics and theology exerted significant influence over 18th century scholastic theology among both Roman Catholics and Protestants.

Among early Protestant scholastics the influence of his Disputationes Metaphysicae is evident in the writings of Bartholomaeus Keckermann (1571–1609), Clemens Timpler
Clemens Timpler
Clemens Timpler was a German philosopher, physicist and theologian.Along with Jakob Degen , he is considered the most important Protestant metaphysician, establishing the Protestant Reformed Neuscholastik....

 (1563–1624), Gilbertus Jacchaeus (1578–1628), Johann Heinrich Alsted
Johann Heinrich Alsted
Johann Heinrich Alsted was a German Calvinist minister and academic, known for his varied interests: in Ramism and Lullism, pedagogy and encyclopedias, theology and millennarianism.-Life:...

 (1588–1638), Antonius Walaeus
Antonius Walaeus
Antonius Walaeus was a Dutch Calvinist minister, theologian, and academic.-Early life:...

 (1573–1639), and Johannes Maccovius
Johannes Maccovius
Johannes Maccovius , also known as Jan Makowski, was a Polish Reformed theologian...

 (Jan Makowski; 1588–1644), among others. This influence was so pervasive that by 1643 it provoked the Dutch Reformed theologian Jacobus Revius
Jacobus Revius
Jacobus Revius was a Dutch poet, Calvinist theologian and church historian. His most renowned collection of poems, the Over-ysselsche Sangen en Dichten , forms a high point of Dutch baroque...

 to publish his book-length response: Suarez repurgatus.

See also

  • Jurisprudence
    Jurisprudence
    Jurisprudence is the theory and philosophy of law. Scholars of jurisprudence, or legal theorists , hope to obtain a deeper understanding of the nature of law, of legal reasoning, legal systems and of legal institutions...

  • Political philosophy
    Political philosophy
    Political philosophy is the study of such topics as liberty, justice, property, rights, law, and the enforcement of a legal code by authority: what they are, why they are needed, what, if anything, makes a government legitimate, what rights and freedoms it should protect and why, what form it...

  • 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...

  • Rule According to Higher Law
    Rule according to higher law
    The rule according to a higher law means that no written law may be enforced by the government unless it conforms with certain unwritten, universal principles of fairness, morality, and justice...


Sources and external links

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