Started on: 02/04/2014
C LASS N OTES FOR :
McMaster University, Winter 2014
T UESDAY , F EBRUARY 4, Y
The great ideological debate
- Separates social philosophers
o Conservatives (right): Machiavelli, Hobbes, Burke, Hegel, Stuart Mill, Von Hayek
o Liberals (left): Locke, Rousseau, Montesquieu, Marx, Engels, Saint Simon, Comte
o Conservatives believed that Man’s identity and destiny are directly tied to the state or
church. These are superior to society and essential man’s moral and political survival.
o Conservatives exhibit a pessimistic view of man’s intellectual and social nature
- Whether a single human right has ever been invented by the ideological sectors called the
o Human right emerged as a result of concrete evolutionary processes beginning in the 12
century with the Magna Carta?
o Human rights have a historical trajectory
o Historical background to every single human right was completely transformed in the
1789. (FRENCH REVOLUTION)
French revolution into an abstract figure that all men are born equal and remain
equal in dignity
Concrete right became abstract right apply to everyone and no one in particular
Inalienable - people have by the very fact that they’re human beings
- Dialectical processes - simultaneously with the Middle Ages that people began to experience in
the second enlightenment.
o Emergence of the institution and organization -- called the ‘state’began to emerge at the
o Modern nation state
o Why would the concept of the state occur, why would people begin to talk about the
entity, institution and organization.
The modern European state (prototype) for all kinds of states emerged as a result
of the first struggles between aristocracy and the crown. Over certain so-called
Reference to the Magna Carta
Modern nation state also emerged as a result of peasant’s rebellions due to
Emergence, expansion and consolidation and capitalism
- Modern nation state will also begin to take shape and form as a result of the two enlightenments
o Pothtical theory became concerned with classic politics
o 11 century in the Spanish city of Toledo
o Jewish scholars / Muslim and Catholic scholars converged together to begin the study of
o The church has refused to allowAristotle’s writing to be made public
The intellectual possibility of separating religion from science
- The emergence of the concept of the notion of the Modern state
o Contribution from the two enlightenments
- WHAT ISASTATE?
Angie © McMaster University 1
Winter 2014 Started on: 02/04/2014
- Human rights have absolutely no meaning unless we bring politics into the picture
o Associated with the state; most of the rights we have are the responsibility on the part of
the state not to infringe (negative) and many rights that are the responsibility of the state
to ensure they exist (positive) rights.
NEGATIVE RIGHTS Civil and political rights
POSITIVE RIGHTS the rights that the state has to get involved, social,
economic, cultural and indigenous rights.
o Too many definitions of a state
For the purposes of our discussion 1500s and 1600 -- the state came to be seen as
a “public” power, institution that is separate from the ruler and from the ruled.
One that exerts its jurisdiction and power over a well defined territory
• Q. How does a state work over territories that are n