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Lecture novemeber 1st 2010

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Irving Zeitlin

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November 1st 2010
John Locke
-historically rulers have always tried to claim some kind of transcendent legitimacy to
their rule
-The most common way of doing this is by claiming some divine right
-we call this either royal absolutism or absolute monarchy
-in Lockes time the claim of rule by divine right was still upheld by certain
-Filmer argued that to impose limitations on an absolute monarch is actually sacrilege
-A prince may never be obliged by contracts or concessions to abstain from the lives
liberties and properties of his subjects
-Filmer was opposed to the idea of a social contract between the people and the ruler or
the multitude and a ruler
-the position arises that humans are naturally endowed by birth with the freedom from
-Terrell - the power that any individual has power over others were originally bestowed
conditionally by a multitude
-against Filmers assertion of the kings authority is founded on a fathers authority and in
turn to gods authority, Terrell argues that the authority is built more on a social contract
-Terrell says that a fathers authority is not absolute and subject to moral values. He
goes on to say kingship cannot be compared to paternity because it is not natural. He
goes on to argue that a King is under the same laws as the subjects as his law was
instated conditionally in the original contract with the multitude or the people.
-Terrell believed that his book inspired Lockes work
-Locke mentions the term Hobbism, Filmer seemed to be more popular (i.e. he said
what the rich and powerful wanted to hear. He does not directly engage with Hobbes
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