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Sophia, Colección de Filosofía de la Educación

On-line version ISSN 1390-8626Print version ISSN 1390-3861


MANTOVANNI, Mauro. Brief Notes on the “Right War”’s Theory according to Francisco Suárez. Sophia [online]. 2017, n.23, pp.239-263. ISSN 1390-8626.

This paper analyzes the principal themes concerning the doctrine of just war (bellum justum) in the thought and the writings of Francisco Suárez, who, as is well known, has contributed significantly to the birth of jurisprudence inter nationes characteristic of the modern period. The deeper study of this author can offer important points for the drawing up of a response to the question today whether there can be a “just war”, and whether “a humanitarian war” can or even must be conducted. In his writings Suárez, in fact, carefully dealt among other things with the theme of the “liceity” and necessity or otherwise of a preventive military offensive to come to the aid of the innocent, as well as the question of the possibility of an eventual “just” war for both sides in the conflict. Within the Christian tradition the reflection concerning war and its “licitness” could already draw upon the fundamental contributions offered by the various “classics” of thought, among whom Augustine, Isidore of Seville and Thomas Aquinas. Nevertheless, in the sixteenth century both Francisco de Vitoria and Francisco Suárez were called upon to develop their reflections in a new context, characterized by an international situation in profound transformation, with which the “traditional” doctrine of war had to come to grips. A new political scenario was already emerging on the European scene in which the “modern State” was establishing itself irresistibly, and the nations were no longer disposed to submit themselves to the judgment of the Emperor or the Pope in order to determine who among the contending parties was waging a truly “just” war. In this context, the thought of the Jesuit theologian took shape and found expression above all in the disputatio De bello, of which, after situating it in its context, this paper presents the principal elements.

Keywords : Philosophy of politics; right; international right; war; Suárez.

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