Can a reading of Marsilius be reconciled with the republicanism usually ascribed to him?

2022-07-15 0 By

Can this reading of Marsilius in the introduction be reconciled with the republicanism usually attributed to him?If he was indeed a republican, must we admit that his republican tendencies in The Defenders of Peace were altered by his experiences in Ludwig’s court, making him a more overt supporter of the emperor in the Defenders of Peace (Vol.)?In other words, do we have to choose between an imperialist reading of Marsilius and a republican reading?Points out that some expositor have reason to fully consider the Italian city of the country’s reality, we don’t need to make such a choice, because even in the holy Roman empire under the rule of autonomous communities may also be present and a positive move of civil law (although the emperor power support lords usually rule rather than the commune rule).But it’s not that simple.The striking thing about Marsilius’ argument is that his call for a unified judicial power (which was so unusual among medieval thinkers) applies only to the division between church and secular government.He did not use this argument against the feudal power of the lords, and he seemed utterly unconcerned with their threat to political peace, a threat that certainly could not be ignored by his contemporaries, in stark contrast to the dangerous apocalyptic visions he posed for the Pope.Having established a single, seemingly unified civil corporation, he left it untouched and even actively supported in practice a major challenge to political unity and unified judicial power.Perhaps there is an explanation that embraces all the intricacies of Marsilius’ political theory.It would have been perfectly reasonable to say that in his genuine fear that the Pope’s ideas were a threat to the peace of Europe, he felt compelled, despite his deep feelings for republicanism, to defend the lords who supported the emperor’s power.Still, let us suppose that the reverse might be true: he really believed in mateo Visconti and that his anti-papal arguments were motivated, at least in part, by this espousal of the Lord.Could there possibly be a way in which his ostensible republican ideas could serve the cause?In the specific conditions of the Italian city-state, and in particular his native Padua, which had undergone a dramatic transition between Guelfist and Ghibellinian rule, his arguments could easily be used to support an urban commune ruled by a Ghibellinian Lord under the protection of the emperor.In the context of Italian civic corporations, it is hard to imagine a more effective way of making the case for the Ghibellines, for the likes of the Visconti family in Milan, against the Guelfs in Padua.It is possible, even probable, that marsilius’s support for Visconti was tempered by his preference for commune rule over the rule exercised by his lords, even though the civic community in question was a limited oligarchic class, and even seigneur rule could maintain a form of commune autonomy.Even the most republican reading of The Guardians of Peace does not exclude oligarchy, to say the least, and Marsilius’ support for the imperium of the Holy Roman Empire leans towards the oligarchy of feudal nobles such as visconti.When Marsilius describes the character of the “parts” of a city or civil corporation, it is significant that he gives a privileged status to precisely the military functions usually associated with the feudal aristocracy.He followed Aristotle in saying that of the parts and functions of the city, which included “agriculture, handicrafts, soldiers, financiers, priests, judges, or counsellors”, only the priests, soldiers, and judges were “in an unconditional sense part of the city, and in the community of citizens they are often called dignitaries”.It is only “in a broad sense” that the “rough” masses belong to the city, in that they serve its needs.Those engaged in production and trade (and presumably commerce as well) seem to fall into the Category of Aristotelian “conditions,” where the Lord is the real “part.”Even Marsilius’s emphasis on the coercive function of law seems to reinforce the argument: “Considering that the judgment of judges on internal villains and rebels must be carried out by coercive force,” he writes, “it is necessary to establish a military or defensive part of the city, to which many arts serve.”The argument that lies at the heart of Marsilius’ republicanism, his flagellation of the civil society, can be understood as playing a crucial role in supporting the interests of the lords.After all, how convincing is it to justify the Gieberingians against Guelph rule and papal power by openly attacking commune autonomy in favour of the cruel lordship of a noble family?In general, factions of merchants opposed to lords had their power in semi-autonomous, self-governing guilds and corporations.Therefore, it would undoubtedly be much more effective to first resort to the more general and inclusive incorporation of city communes, or even to outright corporatism, to defeat the autonomous authority of the subordinate corporations.Later, a similar strategy would be adopted by absolutist monarchs, who claimed to represent an all-embracing corporate body, that is, something close to a nation, the universal will, against the special interests of feudal barons, autonomous local authorities, or other sub-corporations.Thus, Marsilius’ concept of civil corporations was supported by challenging papal authority (which supported the interests of anti-seigneur corporations) and could defend the imperial power, which maintained aristocratic “imperial agents” such as Della Scala and the Visconti family.Even a moment’s reflection reveals how incredible such an argument would have been in a completely different social context, such as William of Occam’s England.Whatever other justifications an English thinker might have for the emperor’s opposition to papal authority when considering the condition of England, political conflict between separate Italian factions, which supported one or the other of these higher powers, was certainly not one of them.More fundamentally, even if we reject such a partisan reading of Marsilius and give him the benefit of the doubt about republicanism, the corporatist arguments on which he relied would never have had the same effect in England as they did in northern Italy.At the very least, corporations need to be redefined to suit English conditions.That’s exactly what William of Occam did.The starting point of his argument (epistemological, theological, and political) is clearly the individual;Even his concept of corporation contradicts the first premise of medieval corporatism, most notably Marsilius: that a corporation can have a personality and a corporate will that is independent of and qualified to represent the individuals who compose it.The Occam’s philosophy of individualism is pure due to background decision is stupid, but, despite his experience of growing up in England and by education also stupid, compared to other parts of Europe, such as in England, the state, a special relationship between property rights and personal, to the method specified a very different, the weaker position.William of Occam was born in Surrey in the 1280s and educated in theology and philosophy at Oxford, where he continued to study and teach as a Franciscan.When he, what happened with the first time, there are some controversy, but the most common view is that he was summoned to avignon, in front of a mission for heresy of being ready to Pope, defended his theological and philosophical works, and then he found he had been involved in the debate about the apostles type is poor.As we have seen, the encyclical of John XXII, Because of a Wicked Man, is the most powerful challenge to the Franciscans’ position;And in the course of Occam’s response, he came to believe that the Pope himself had committed heresy.Occam was never officially excommunicated, but fled to the court of Ludwig just as the king became Holy Roman Emperor.Like Marsilius, he supported Ludwig in his conflict with the Pope, and his constant defense of the apostolic doctrine of poverty and his attack on the Pope’s claim to an adequate power forced him to formulate his own views on the relationship between earthly and spiritual justice.He never formulated a systematic political theory, and there are conflicting interpretations of what he really said;However, a theory of political science can be reconstructed from various works.Whatever one may say about his political views, there can be no doubting the originality and significance of his thinking on corporations and individual rights.