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The Common Good in Late Medieval Political Thought - Oxford Scholarship Online
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The Common Good in Late Medieval Political Thought

M. S. Kempshall


This study offers a major reinterpretation of medieval political thought by examining one of its most fundamental ideas. If it was axiomatic that the goal of human society should be the common good, then this notion presented at least two conceptual alternatives. Did it embody the highest moral ideals of happiness and the life of virtue, or did it represent the more pragmatic benefits of peace and material security? Political thinkers from Thomas Aquinas to William of Ockham answered this question in various contexts. In theoretical terms, they were reacting to the rediscovery of Aristotle's P ... More

Keywords: medieval politics, Thomas Aquinas, William of Ockham, Aristotle, Politics, political thought, ecclesiastical authority, royal taxation, papal authority, secular

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 1999 Print ISBN-13: 9780198207160
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198207160.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

M. S. Kempshall, author
Balliol College and St Catherine's College, University of Oxford