Download Hobbes, Locke, and Confusion's Masterpiece: An Examination by Ross Harrison PDF

By Ross Harrison

During this significant examine of the principles of contemporary political concept, the eminent political thinker Ross Harrison explains, analyzes, and criticizes the paintings of Hobbes, Locke and their contemporaries. He presents a whole account of the turbulent old history that formed the political, highbrow and spiritual content material of this philosophy. The booklet explores the boundaries of political authority and the connection of the legitimacy of presidency to the need of its humans in non-technical, available prose.

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Extra resources for Hobbes, Locke, and Confusion's Masterpiece: An Examination of Seventeenth-Century Political Philosophy

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In each of these realms, inferiors worried about superior power. The Italian cities wanted an intellectual position that freed them from the Emperor; they would be princes for themselves, much as King Henry later declared England to be an empire. The Word 27 The bishops had problems with the Pope. Indeed, anyone would be bound to have some sort of conceptual problems with the Pope at a time when there were first two and then eventually three Popes, all claiming supreme, full, single authority. This was at the high point of the so-called conciliarist movement, the idea held by some prominent churchmen that church councils were superior to Popes, that the body of the church was superior to any one member, even its head.

This truth can then be used to adjudicate and persuade in a discordant world, a world rent by civil and international war. This truth, this truth of reason, will be universal and international. It will not be derived from differing customs or from contested texts. It will not just be a description of how people actually behave. Instead, we will have a defensible method of making value claims that can be applied to the stuff of politics. These value claims will be independent of the Bible, with its competing local customs of interpretation, they will be independent of individual prophetic enthusiasms, and they will be independent of church traditions.

Indeed, its creation by God helps to explain how the law of nature can contain true, independent, universal principles of justice. Not for one city, but for the whole world, since the whole world is God’s; as God’s rational creature I am citizen of the world. Creation by God also helps to solve the problem of the prescriptive quality of the law – that is, how it is meant to bear on the will and motivate people into action. For if natural law is the will of God, then it is applied as will to human wills, spurring them into action.

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