GE Cluster 21A: History of Modern Thought - Lecture 1 Notes (Renaissance Political Thought)

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General Education Clusters
Peter Stacey

RENAISSANCE POLITICAL THOUGHT Francesco Petrarch (1304-74) Niccolo Machiavelli (1469-1527) How has thought evolved between these two? What is Machiavelli trying to correct our thinking about -He subverts conventional thinking Renaissance -> metaphorically means revival for the writers Product of itself (recovery of antiquity, judgments) -Italy wasn't a country of political entity, was a new nation ->A patchwork of different autonomous cultural units -Multiplicity of political views -Sparta and Athens dominated classical Greece ->Culturally dominant/formative influences Politics: How to organize life in the city -Athenians aligned as a democracy for two centuries Even with slave culture Roman Empire -It's own size caused it to buckle -Had both republican and monarchial halves -Mixed Republican constitution, elements of democracy Res Publica - can mean the "common good" -Roman monarchy didn't want the word Res Publica to go away, so senate and assemblies remained, but became purely advisory Prince: full executive power (not necessarily hereditary) -Two totally different stories can be drawn from Rome Italy predominantly leaned towards monarchy Papal states, monarchial territorial entity & catholic church Two big republics -> Florence & Venice in this era Humanism/Humanist -study of the liberal arts -focus of ethics, moral philosophy ex. how to behave good & bad Petrarch interested in reviving studies of antiquities Social Ideals of Renaissance: -Gloria, honor, fama: glory, honor, fame -> but no glory without virtue (can only be attained at the heights of virtue) -a challenge t
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