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Political Science
POLS 1150

1 POLS 1150 - 01 Thomas Aquinas (1225 - 1274) Friday September 20 2013 • wanted to unite the teachings of classical antiquity and the Christian church • recognized reason as a way of knowing God's purpose • big trouble for women because they are not seen as making good judgement • gender divisions are very deep in the philosophical view • first idea of equality: one universal kingdom under Christ • sacred authority still paramount over secular authority • God's will and purpose is paramount • Aquinas is seen as someone who is a bridge The Transition to Modern Political Philosophy • Niccolo Machiavelli (1469 - 1527) • after the fall of the Medici, he rises • when the Medici family fell, Machiavelli became a prominent figure • however when the Medici's were reinstated, he was captured and tortured, left in solitude • 1513 writes "the Prince" most famous writing • he wrote about secular authority • the authority and law of the king • he wrote in a very dangerous time when political authority were changing • this was a new world of released energies 2 • in this world they were competing for power and influence • at the same time, the church was battling to keep control • no prefigured meanings, no implicit teleology, only fortuna • people could only lean on unpredictability - needed a leader who found this as a norm • new political actor • this actor could not be consistent and uniform, rather change for any contingency - this is what Machiavelli proclaims • adapting at an instant • new political actor: • -virtue • -necessita: always thinking of the strategy • new science: being cruel may be kinder in the end, and the leader must know how to use force. This is called an economy of violence: knowing when to strike and when not to • a good prince restores the health of a community and lays down the law Machiavelli modern is a number of his conclusions: • the law of the king is the only legitimate authority • reason is instrumental • politics is not good in itself • the ends justify the means Modern Contract Theorists • Thomas Hobbes (1588 - 1679) • known as the first great liberal thinker • Rousseau is different in that he is later and speaking back to Hobbes 3 • they saw change and thought of creating a new order based on reason • the breaking up of authority and use of reason, are what they are writing about • the use of contract ends up being the most important term because it is used economically • people are using contracts to make these big trading deals • Hobbes is writing during the English civil war - the bloodiest in history • Hobbes is worried about this and writes about what would make a government legitimate • the king cannon control the aristocracy • Cromwell takes over in a military rule and leads to the glorious revolution, but Hobbes never lives to see this • starts with human nature in the state of nature • has instrumental reason and
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