Leonardo Polo's Rectification of the Foundations of Legal Modernity. The Theology of Dominion of Francisco de Vitoria


  • Daniel H. Castañeda y G. Panamerican University (Mexico)


theology, human person, Franciso de Vitoria, Leonardo Polo, property law


In the following study I will analyze a core aspect of modern legal thought, an aspect which can be rectified by means of the philosophy of Leonardo Polo: the doctrine of dominion of goods (property) of Francisco de Vitoria. Dominion has historically been pre-eminent in the legal order, and in the case of Vitoria it acquires a special relevance, as one of the great constructions of modern legal thought, the influence of which is still felt in the 21st century. In order to introduce my discussion of Vitoria's teaching I first perform an historical-legal analysis of dominion as it figures in Roman jurisprudence, which will provide a contrast with Vitoria's theory of dominion. This contrast will permit a study of the foundations of Vitoria's approach, foundations which are not primarily based on a theory developed with a basis in the experience acquired in the defense of the dominion of goods in the courts. Rather, they are based on a certain way of understanding theology. This is where Polo's philosophy allows us to correct the foundations of Vitoria's approach, and thereby to correct those of the entirety of legal modernity. Finally, the convergence point of the theory of knowledge and transcendental anthropology –as well as theology (topic) and the personal intellect (method) –is employed both as an interpretative paradigm for this stage of the history of law, and as the cognitive light for understanding the focus and the method of jurisprudence. The path blazed by Vitoria, locating the human person (esse hominis) as creative method of the ius, will find in Polo a solid foundation.



How to Cite

Castañeda y G., D. H. (2018). Leonardo Polo’s Rectification of the Foundations of Legal Modernity. The Theology of Dominion of Francisco de Vitoria. Journal of Polian Studies, 4, 45–80. Retrieved from https://journal.leonardopoloinstitute.org/index.php/jpols/article/view/6995