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PHIL 1F91 (53)
Lecture

Macheville, Hobbes, Johnson, Condorcet, & Humboldt

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Department
Philosophy
Course
PHIL 1F91
Professor
David Hayes
Semester
Fall

Description
18/04/2012 1 Modernity, Progress, Ideology 3 of the most contentious terms in the English language. They emerge in the period from The [Italian] Renaissance to the French Revolution. That is why I am reverting to chronological order for the last 4-5 theories of human nature in the Malthusian era. 2 What is The Malthusian Era? Chronologically it is the LONG, LONG period of human prehistory and history until cir. 1800 C.E. Intellectually it is a period of pessimism based on very good reasons. It was a period in which life expectancy was very low and rates of poverty very high. 3 The Malthusian Era In 1798 and 1802 Rev. Robert Thomas Malthus wrote and rewrote the book that made him both famous and infamous explaining why population would always outstrip our ability to feed people. He was the main target of Charles Dickenss A Christmas Carol: Scrooge personifies Malthuss views. 4 Pessimism versus Optimism Prior to the 18hcentury there were few reasons to be optimistic about human beings and the possibility of human progress. Only after 1800 did such optimism become reasonable. Yet the idea of such a possibility emerged in the 4 centuries cir. 1400-1800 WHY? 5 Machiavelli and Hobbes Both are usually classed as pessimists or cynics or both about human nature. Both would prefer to be regarded as realists. The labels conservative and individualist may be either inappropriate or anachronistic. 6 Machiavelli 1469-1527 We start with the person with the best claim to be the most pessimistic and finish with the most optimistic [or 2 most optimistic] He also has a legitimate claim to be the first modern political theorist or political scientist. 7 Love, Fear and Hate The Prince is intended for political leaders and is based on a clearly expressed view of human nature. Humans are in general ungrateful, voluble, dissemblers, anxious to avoid danger, and covetous of gain. In this sentence the allegedly sexist term men seems very appropriate in the gender rather than species sense. 8 Love, Hate and Fear 1scientist. 7 Love, Fear and Hate 18/04/2012 The Prince is intended for political leaders and is based on a clearly expressed view of human nature. Humans are in general ungrateful, voluble, dissemblers, anxious to avoid danger, and covetous of gain. In this sentence the allegedly sexist term men seems very appropriate in the gender rather than species sense. 8 Love, Hate and Fear If you cannot be loved make sure you are feared but not hated. To instill fear you must be prepared to use very cruel punishments. This includes the soldiers in your army as well as citizens. Contrasts Hannibal and Scipio. 9 How to avoid being hated Be sure to respect both the property and wimmin* of your citizens and subjects. VERY important sentence men forget more easily the death of their father than the loss of their patrimony. During the Malthusian era patrimony was more important than patriotism. Final sentence of section 17 men love of their free will but fear at the will of the prince. * Phonetically [as well as politically correct] ways to spell the word women. 10 Section 18 Keeping faith Argument based on both human nature and either Gyges Ring or Prisoners Dilemma situations. Loyalty and good faith are good things but because humans are not good the
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