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The Mortgage of the PastReshaping the Ancient Political Inheritance (1050-1300)$
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Francis Oakley

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780300176339

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300176339.001.0001

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Proto-Constitutionalist Innovation

Proto-Constitutionalist Innovation

The Roots of Consent Theory and the Emergence of Representative Institutions

Chapter:
(p.138) 6. Proto-Constitutionalist Innovation
Source:
The Mortgage of the Past
Author(s):

Francis Oakley

Publisher:
Yale University Press
DOI:10.12987/yale/9780300176339.003.0007

This chapter presents and elaborates upon the influence of books and the important role they played in shaping the political thinking and writings of the first generation of medieval Aristotelians, so much so, that their thinking reflected more of what they read than the political realities of their own day. The marked penetration into Aquinas's political thinking of Aristotelian modalities of thought cannot be denied—regardless of whether the author is correct in suggesting here that what Aquinas embodied was an essentially “truncated” form of Aristotelianism, and whether or not commentators today are at all on target in questioning the rectitude of classifying him as an Aristotelian at all. This becomes more remarkable when it is measured against the comparatively low salience in his political thinking of notions stemming from the proto-constitutionalist norms embedded in the daily realities of medieval governmental practice.

Keywords:   medieval Aristotelians, political thinking, Aquinas, Aristotelian modalities, proto-constitutionalist norms, medieval governmental practice

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