Encyclopedia of Global Justice

2011 Edition
| Editors: Deen K. Chatterjee

Vitoria, Francisco de

  • Gary M. Simpson
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-9160-5_505

Francisco de Vitoria (1483–1546 C.E.) was a Roman Catholic Dominican theologian at the University of Salamanca, Spain, and the founder of the “Salamanca School,” also known as “the second scholasticism,” which revived and promoted the thinking of Thomas Aquinas (1225–1274 C.E.). He influenced subsequent prominent members of the Salamanca School including Domingo de Soto (1494–1560 C.E.), Luis de Molina (1535–1600 C.E.), and Francisco Suárez (1548–1617 C.E.). Some regard Vitoria as the “father of international law,” though others regard this as an anachronism since international law does not take hold for another century.

Vitoria addressed questions of global justice within the context of the Western European “age of discovery of the New World” and the emerging questions about imperial expansion that arose in that context. He also addressed these questions from within the tradition of just war reasoning. He drew heavily from Aquinas but expanded on his thought in three significant ways:...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. Covell C (2009) The law of nations in political thought. Palgrave McMillan, New YorkCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Simpson G (2007) War, peace and god. Fortress, MinneapolisGoogle Scholar
  3. Skinner Q (1978) The foundations of modern political thought, vol II. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UKCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Tierney B (1997) The idea of natural rights. Scholars, AtlantaGoogle Scholar
  5. Vitoria F (1991) Political writings. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UKGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gary M. Simpson
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of TheologyLuther SeminarySt. PaulUSA