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Thomas Aquinas on Constitution - Dictionary of Arguments

Höffe I 150
Constitution/Thomas Aquinas/Höffe: Community: in relation to the family and the community, the greater unity, the state, is regarded as the perfect community, as communitas perfecta (2). In it, legislation, including the constitution, is a matter for the people or the person who has to provide for the main political goal, the common good.
Old Testament constitution: When asked whether "the Old Testament correctly determined the rule in ancient Israel", Thomas Aquinas gives the expected answer that God had given the Israelites the "very best constitution" (optima ordinatio) (la Ilae qu. 105).
Mixed constitution: It consists in the one known not only by Aristotle. Here it is mixed consisting of the kingship, where the supreme leadership is located, an aristocracy, the 72 elders chosen according to their virtue, and democracy, since the leaders are elected by the people (ex popularibus).
Through this mixture the rights of the royal ruler are to be curtailed, in particular the Council of Elders is to protect the rule from slipping into a tyranny.


1. Summa la Ilae qu. 90, 3
2. Ebenda qu. 105


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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 2021-06-19
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