Identifier

etd-04042016-175322

Degree

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Political Science

Document Type

Dissertation

Abstract

This dissertation examines Bartolomé de Las Casas as a Thomistic political philosopher. It argues that Las Casas intentionally drew upon the philosophy of Thomas Aquinas in order to provide a robust philosophical anthropology that was able to defend Amerindian rationality and self-rule. He uses Thomas and the Classical tradition to disprove the notion that the Amerindians are natural slaves, to uphold the inherent goodness of politics, to protect Amerindian kingdoms from imperial claims and the direct power of the papacy, and to condemn the unjust wars of the Spanish Conquest of the Americas. Las Casas’ Thomism is particularly important because he provides an alternative to his great contemporary, Francisco de Vitoria. Whereas Vitoria’s Thomism defends certain aspects of the Conquest through the ius gentium, Las Casas’ Thomism leads to a more comprehensive condemnation of the Conquest.

Date

2016

Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Secure the entire work for patent and/or proprietary purposes for a period of one year. Student has submitted appropriate documentation which states: During this period the copyright owner also agrees not to exercise her/his ownership rights, including public use in works, without prior authorization from LSU. At the end of the one year period, either we or LSU may request an automatic extension for one additional year. At the end of the one year secure period (or its extension, if such is requested), the work will be released for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Stoner, James

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