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The Rights of War and PeacePolitical Thought and the International Order from Grotius to Kant$
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Richard Tuck

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780199248148

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199248148.001.0001

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(p.51) 2 Scholasticism
The Rights of War and Peace

Richard Tuck

Oxford University Press

This chapter deals with the scholastic theories about war. It looks at Juan Luis de Molina, and traces the roots of his ideas among the jurists and theologians of the Middle Ages. Molina's views distinguished between defensive and offensive war. The former was open to anybody as long as the victim was genuinely suffering an immediate and actual attack. The latter involved the punishment of some state for an injury committed by its subjects, or the recovery of some property which had wrongly been withheld. Wars in pursuit of glory, or pre-emptive strikes, were utterly forbidden. Warfare against barbarians was unjustifiable, unless it was to protect innocent victims from their aggression, and even then it should not usually lead to the occupation of their lands by a foreign power, but to the liberation of their victims. All of these views are expressly opposed to those of other humanists.

Keywords:   Molina, scholasticism, pre-emptive strikes, Middle Ages, offensive war, defensive war

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