Jan. 6, 2014
Modern Political Thought – The history of ideas – long traditions which withstood time and
Machiavelli – fear and appeal to courage
Locke - Political absolutism and freedom
“Almost all of us can now say that John Locke is our political philosopher…”
– D. Wooton
-should we cry, or rejoice?
• State of nature
I. Ancient vs Modern – a few differences
• What is the best form of government/regime?
• Why do we have politics?
• Both insist on the political utility of religion – without religion, you can’t get to a
great politics. (Ballsy republic Mac, and stable security for Locke)
• Modern political theory as a whole differs from ancient political theory –
relationship between politics and ethics (morality)
• The ancients see politics and morality as one and the same
• Modern theorists separate them entirely
II. Two visions of politics/freedom
• Hobbes, Locke, and Rousseau - liberal individualism
• Machiavelli and de la Boésie - civic republicanism • Liberal individualism: individual rights and co