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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/24864

Title: William of Ockham's Early Theory of Property Rights: Sources, Texts, and Contexts
Authors: Robinson, Jonathan William
Advisor: King, Peter
Department: Medieval Studies
Keywords: William of Ockham
Bonagratia of Bergamo
Michael of Cesena
Francis of Marchia
Franciscan poverty
property rights
corporation theory
Issue Date: 1-Sep-2010
Abstract: This dissertation examines William of Ockham's theory of property rights in the Opus nonaginta dierum (1332) in the context of the other major Michaelist texts of the period. A corollary of the project is to examine to what extent Ockham, a theologian with no formal training in law, was able to exploit the resources of Roman and canon law to justify his theory of property rights. The first chapter outlines general methodological concerns. The second chapter describes John XXII's theory of property rights as it can be found in his major bulls of the 1320s. The subsequent chapters adopt a thematic approach. Chapters three through five analyse in turn the concepts of ius, dominium, and usus, which are hierarchically related concepts in the Michaelist texts. Chapter three examines ius in traditional legal discourse in order to provide a framework for understanding how the Michaelists employed the term; both the issue of positive and natural rights and the interaction of divine, natural, and positive law are examined. Chapter four examines dominium, here primarily understood as proprietary lordship, as it is justified in divine, natural, and positive law; the Franciscan position on the origin of private property also becomes clear. The fifth chapter deals with the Franciscan argument that usus must be understood not only in a legal sense. Franciscan use, they argue, is a rightless and legally indefensible sort of use because it lacks a connection to ius. The sixth chapter explores how the Michaelists explained that one may justly use something that is consumed through use without ever holding property rights over it, while the seventh explores the Franciscan theory of corporate rights in the face of Innocent IV's and John XXII's arguments about the supposedly fictive personality of corporations. A concluding chapter and three appendices round out the dissertation. The first appendix illustrates how Michael of Cesena adapted Bonaventure's theory of a 'fourfold community of temporal things'. The second compares the structural interrelationship of the Michaelist texts. The final appendix tabulates Ockham's use of canon and Roman law with respect to the writings of the pope and the other Michaelists.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/24864
Appears in Collections:Doctoral
Centre for Medieval Studies - Doctoral theses

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