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Thomas Aquinas on Democracy - Dictionary of Arguments

Höffe I 154
Democracy/Thomas Aquinas/Höffe: In the event that (...) tyranny comes about, Thomas envisages resistance, but no murder of a tyrant. In his detailed discussion, however, he grants the people the right to depose the tyrant, at least to limit his powers, because the people have the right "to appoint a king for themselves".
Höffe: So Thomas Aquinas is not only a republican, since he defines the community as a society of free people, but in his legitimation of rule he also shows himself to some extent as a democrat who justifies resistance against obvious tyranny. In this sense he also evaluates, in the sum of theology(1), the violent resistance against tyrannical will not as seditio, as an unjustified revolt against the divine order.
Nevertheless, in the scripture On the Rule of Princes(2), for pragmatic reasons, he considers it "better to endure a tyranny for some time that keeps within certain limits" - within what limits?. >Tyranny/Thomas Aquinas, >Governance/Thomas Aquinas, >Constitution/Thomas Aquinas, >Community/Thomas Aquinas.


1. Thomas, Summa Ila Ilae, qu. 42, art. 2, ad 3
2. Thomas, De regno ad regem Cypri I,6


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Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution. Translations: Dictionary of Arguments
The note [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.

Höffe I
Otfried Höffe
Geschichte des politischen Denkens München 2016


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Ed. Martin Schulz, access date 2021-05-12
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