Presentation Details

The Second International Conference on New Directions in the Humanities

A Structuralist Reading of Marsiglio of Padua’s Defensor Pacis

Benjamin F. Troxell IV.

Although the oft lamented state of the humanities is surely the product of a confluence of many factors, a perceived lack of methodological rigor must figure amongst the chief culprits one must overcome if the several disciplines that comprise the humanities are to be restored to vigorous presence both within academia and in the ongoing cultural debates of the wider world. Because the notions of causality employed within the theoretical discourse of history, literature, and political science (as well as other text-based disciplines) are often contradictory and vague, one might analyze the operation of causality in the social field with evident profit. Therefore, my paper will explore the conception of structural causality in regards to the production of a historically significant text, specifically, the 14th century political work Defensor Pacis by Marsiglio of Padua.


Benjamin F. Troxell IV  (United States)
Graduate Student
History Department - Medieval
St. Louis University

Currently a graduate student in medieval history and teaching assistant at St. Louis University.
B.A. in Philosophy taken from Hiram College. Currently writing on the 14th century works of Marsiglio of Padua as well as the 20th century theorist Louis Althusser. Main areas of interest: European intellectual history and medieval political theory.

  • Marsilgio of Padua
  • Louis Althusser
  • Defensor Pacis
Person as Subject
  • Althusser, Louis Marsiglio of Padua Defensor Pacis

(30 min. Conference Paper, English)