• Jesús R. Velasco deposited The Invention of Invention on MLA Commons 5 years ago

    Alfonso de Toledo (15th century) was, indeed, a curious guy. But he was doing something with his curiosity. He was researching and translating. He was focusing on particular themes and institutions, and giving a legal and juridical reading of them –he, as he confesses, has very little theology to forget, so even theological inventions are, for him, legal achievements. He was indeed articulating a series of arguments with which feeding a political conversation that occupied an important part of public life, in peace and war, during the second half of the fifteenth century, and in particular after the Toledo revolts against the Jewish population in the middle of the 15th century: whether the inquisitorial system was not just a religious system, but also a civil and political governmental process.
    Invention and investigation are two crucial concepts that allow Alfonso de Toledo to find out arguments to feed some of the debates that were taking place in public life, and, in particular, in such a powerful space as that surrounding the Primate of Spain and Isabel supporter, Alonso Carrillo de Acuña. Alfonso de Toledo was not only finding out those arguments, he also put them in the vernacular, so that they could be consistently used among those in charge of governing the kingdom after a succession of civil wars and other “banderías.”
    The invention of invention is, in fact, the invention of investigation: invention as epistemological device is the way to introduce the action that does not need of any sort of hint, denounce, or accusation, but that unfolds and liberates research. Of course, such investigation is no less than a much more perverse sort of curiosity: the inner thoughts, feelings, and beliefs of those new subjects of an inquisition.