Spring Semester Exam 1: Aquinas 01/17/2013
Aquinas’ treatises on Law
Law =lex from “ligo or ligare” (“to bind or tie tg” as in ligament)
This etymology is extremely important anticipating much that will come with law
For Hobbes d Locke “natural law is a discovery of reason that constricts (binds) human behavior
Diff in Hobbes, the only way natural law is legitimized is through the force of a sovereign’s fiat (positivist/
contractarian). The sovereign “represents” you and, s such, you don’t question him
Aquinas says its binding if it conforms with reason and divine law
Aquinas’ primary concern in this treatise:
What are the origins of law?
Aquinas says its God that reason grasps as divine order of uni
What is the source of the obligation that law imposes?
Doesn’t the power to “bind” the consciences of people belong to God alone?
If not, by what warrant does the human legislator bind the consciences of people
And if people possess this warrant what are the limits within which they may exercise it?
Three reasons this treatise is important:
1) it reasserts the value of politics to argue that oplitics and political life are morally positive activities that
are in accordance with the intention of God for man
Key analogy: providence: community of beings in uni :: law: community of people
Try to emulate law in universe
2) it combines trad hierarchal and feudal views of the structure of society and political with emerging
community oriented and incipiently egalitarian views of the proper ordering of society
3) Develops a logically coherent heory of natural law that continues to be an important source of legislature,
political norms Aquinas’ first answr:
The source of Law is God
The root of obligation is in the divine conception of the order proper to the universe
Human Law, to be just and morally obligating must therefore be rooted in divine law
People cannot originate the law themselves
No authority, not even the sovereign can impose an obligation ion the citizen where it is not already latent in
the nature of things.
Aquinas on the Essence of Law
Aquinas’ Definition of Law is: An ordinance of reason for the common good made by one who has care for
the community and is promulgated”
There are five notes in the definition
1) Genus (an ordinance)
2) Specific difference (of reason)
3) the final cause (end/purpose)(for the common good)
4) the efficient (agent) (one who has care
5) A necessary property or prop condition (promulgation)
note that it follows from this definition that if a law is …
… it is not a real law (not binding in the sense of “ligo, ligare”) for Aquinas law must: Reason, order, common good, and one who has care. Those promulgating law have
genuine care for community, it must be promulgated ▯ ppl must know the law
Corrupt gov don’t have authentic care for the community
Four Kinds of Law:
Eternal ▯ rational governance of everything of the part of God as ruler of the universe. Divine providence
Natural▯ the participation in the eternal law by rational creatures. The objective link between our minds
and God’s mind
Human (positive) ▯ particular applications of the law derived by reason
Divine (positive) ▯ that part of the eternal law that God positively revealed. The divine law helps us attain
our supernatural end (happiness through theological virtue) just as human law helps us to attain our natural
end (happiness in practical virtue)
The eternal, natural, and human laws are one rule progressively specified. The divine law is needed for the
things reason wouldn’t be able to grasp▯ Part of the eternal law.
Why is the Divine Law necessary?
First is because man is ordained to an end of eternal happiness, not merely earthly happiness (i.e.
promoting theological virtues)
Second, on account of the uncertainty of human judgment.
Thirdly, because a is not competent to judge of interior movement, that are hidden
Fourthly, because human law cannot punish or forbid all evil deeds. ( a key for locke) need divine law for
those moments where human law isn’t watching
Eternal law▯ natural law▯ human law▯ individual
Aquinas on natural Law
Question 94: of the Natural Law
The key analogy: the precept of the natural law are to the practical reason what the first
principles of demonstrations are to the speculative reason, because both are selfevident
Selfevident theoretical axios
“founded on the notion of being”
the law of identity
the law of non contradiction
the aw of excluded middle Machiavelli: The Prince 01/17/2013
Origin of political philosophy and the problem of religious freedom: Machiavelli: The Prince 01/17/2013
Stronger ground a gov stands the better chance that it will work
The Machiavellian Revolution: Reading the Prince
Some Etymological Prelimenaries
Arete = excellence
Virtus = virtue
From vir = man (as in be a man)
Machiavelli understanding of virtue (prowess strength manliness) is that which facilitates success in a
chosen activity. For a politician, success defines by securing power where others might lose it. Virtue is
anything that contributes to make this happen. (Nobel goal: to preserve order? consequentialist)
Stato = “gov” or “power” “the state”
A play on “stato” in the sense of ones own state (status)
Loosing one’s state recognizes the pun
Machiavelli position as “transitional figure” approaching the past in a new way
Rejection of Aristotle (implicit)
Rejection of Plato (chapter 15)
Rejection of roman masters on virtues Cicero, Seneca (ch 1620)
Influence on Hobbes, Nietzsche (consequentialism)
What is his practical purpose?
Is it text for “new princes?” as implied by dedicating to Lorenzo or what he says about hereditary
principalities? ▯ make new princes seem like experienced princes or for all princes? Machiavelli: The Prince 01/17/2013
Role of “fortuna” ▯ hereditary principalities are not immune to fortune
Machiavelli’s “letter to Vettori”
There is irony how much he wants to subvert verities of the past
Practical judgment v Cleverness or Guile
Pract wisdom ▯ right means to the right ends, must be good. Distinguished from cleverness▯ don’t need to
be good, reason well from ends to means, ungoverned by clarity about ends.
Aristotle: you have pract wisdom and cleverness, but cleverness does not equal cleverness. It is the same
to Machiavelli. He says cleverness is ultimate thing for prince but not neccessaily right means to right end.
Major Premise: Grandises my glorious power ought to be pursued
Minor Premise: This will aggrandize my glorious power
Conclusion: This action ought to be pursued.
Turns away from Aristotle Syllogism. Throws away virtue aspect.
Example of Agathocles ▯ he kills his own people so he does not achieve the glory. Had power though
Positive V Normative
Positive statements: Ring tailed lemurs have black and white fur.
Normative statement: we ought to protect ring tailed lemurs, they are the bomb (opposites)
He says to start with what is the case instead of aiming for lofty goals. Regarded as first political scientist bc
studies things as they are.
Don’t let the ideal be the way you behave. It isn’t realistic. Some bad qualities are good while some good
qualities would lead to your downfall. Judge the ideal by the actual rather than actual by the ideal. Abandon
the end if you see the end is noble but the means are impractical.
Machiavelli’s Rhetorical use of animals
Classical▯ different from beasts bc we have reason Machiavelli: The Prince 01/17/2013
Modern view ▯ we differ from beasts only to a particular degree can choose which animal to be
Image of a centaur
Severus could be a lion and a fox.
Aristotle: rhetoric: use right words at right time.
Machiavelli: Weapon depending on opponent
Fickle Lady Foruna
Described as blind and spins a wheel.
Roman Pagan concept “blind goddess” plot random rise nd fall of kings.
Fortunes wheel: Regno “I reign”, Regnavi “I reigned”, Sine Regno Sum I am without a kingdom”, Regnabo
“I will reign”
Master fortune as best you can
Does the prince only apply to new princes?
Written to guliano and the Lorenzo who were aspiring princesS Hobbes: Leviathan 01/17/2013
Hobbes (materialist) lived 17 cent England (ENT, Sci Rev)
Political change: const monarchy, civil war, execution of monarch, quasi commonwealth theocracy
(Cromwell II), restoration of monarchy (Charles II)
Did not live to see James II or Glorious Rev
Scientist and student of the classics, translating Latin and Greek (difficult Greek)
Shares Machiavelli’s pragmatic approach, write for a prince to put it into practice.
Assumptions and Terminology:
Hobbes thinks he’s constructing a “philosophical system” from the ground up ascending to ultimate view of
When first appeared in 1651 was received as “comprehensive vision of the world, which united
metaphysical, theological, and political arguments into a single distinctive outlook. At center of this outlook
was mechanical materialism”
It is based on metaphysical assumption (materialism) reached by a methodological assumption
Materialism: matter is the only substance of reality (body, extension, and motion) the rest tare “secondary
qualities.” ▯all in the mind. All other properties are perceived by the senses so they are only in the mind.
Empiricism: “for there is no conception in man’s mind which hath not at first, totally or by parts been
begotten upon the organs of sense. The rest are derived from that original”
Hobbes writes after physics we must come to moral philosophy. The principles of politics consist in the
knowledge of the motions of the mind
These two assumptions (materialism and empiricism) lead to both a cognitional theory and anthropology
Reason is the agent or “scout” of the passions
For the thoughts are to the desires as scout and spies, to range abroad and find the way to the things
This cognitional theory and anthropology grounds Hobbes’ political theory
The key link to political philosophy▯ aversion to death and go towards peace and pleasure. Go to gov that
gives you commodious living
Hobbes Anthropology is Rooted in Materialism
Mediate (through light) or immediate sensory descry then stirs passions (appetites and
aversions) passions then stir up the reason (calculation) and moves you to or away from the
Material subj ▯ material obj Hobbes: Leviathan 01/17/2013
Hobbes Linguistic Comments (rooted in materialist and metaphysical commitment)
Consider Chapter 5:816, 5:5758
What’s the connection with language and politics
We speak not in error but in absurdities. And we cant reason when we speak in absurdities.
There’s no body politic. To think there is a “body of the people” or “collective will” is to make a linguistic
mistake, is to buy into an illusion
It is not unlike people who say “the gov is going to raise taxes.” Or “I hate it when corp get richer.” ▯ need a
sovereign to represent the people. Have to donate their will to the will of the sovereign he must represent
willl of the people or else too many dif interests
Materialism ▯ nothing non physical. How can nonphysical have causal powers?
Reductionism? Mind is special.
“Casper problem”▯ non physicaltophysical causal interaction. Nonspatial things causing spatial
How could physical and non physical things interact
“the existence of non physical causes of physical events would require us to recognize whole new species
of causal relations and causal laws.” – Peter Carruthers
physical things go in, something physical happens in the brain, and it causes something physical to happen.
▯reductionist. Jerry Fodor
HObb’es language linked to materialism
Errors people making in language We try to reify things by making them more concrete then they actually
Nominalism▯ view that these things differ only in name. all of these things are really similar because they
are all spatially extended matter. They only differ in the aesthetic features we differentiate them by. Through
our mind we categorize them by, but they are all just matter.
There is no fruit, only multitude of individual extended things.
There is no voice of the people. There in only a sovereign who is spatially extended to unite them all under
“The fallacy of misplaced concreteness”
error of mistaking abstract for concrete. ▯ Alfred North Whitehead
Hobbes “on Belief” Hobbes: Leviathan 01/17/2013
View on faith and opinion are rooted in his materialism
All propositions emanate from mouth of a speaker▯ the expression of thee internal workings of matterin
Read something from bible and believe it, it comes more from the faith in the prophet who says it rather
then the actually proposition uttered.
Judgments are either made of the
The proposition itself
Hobbes “On Religion”
Attacks religion or what seems to be an attack is also rooted in his materialism occurs on two fronts
Passion ▯ fear of death
Reason ▯ search for causes
Not coincidentally, these same two fronts (passion and reason) that will ground his argument for a
Sovereign. Need for sovereign as well as religion is rooted in need of people.
“Genesis of religion” ▯ polytheistic relig rooted in fear more than monotheistic, more grasped by reason.
indictment of polytheistic religion.incorporial substance is contradictory in conception if you ask someone
about it they are unintelligible.
“God of the Gaps”
Hw do we arrive at Leviathan’Expresses his purpos einthe dedictory letter to his friend and loyalist rancis
Godolphin. Hobbes thinks he is arguing for a middle way
“one side too great liberty and the other far too much authority…”
Hobbes saw England torn bt conflict libertarians and authoritarians
Latin inscription on the frontispiece is from Job 41:24 in reference to God. There is no power on earth which
can be compared to him
The Leviathan = the Sovereign = A material God in the Absence on an immaterial one
Sovereign hold both sword and bishops staff (crosier) He is constructed of the individual people the
argument is that he represent what the people as a collection of individual parts cannot do individually they
cant be unity without him Hobbes: Leviathan 01/17/2013
The sword = “all covenants without the sword are but words and of no strength to secure a man at all”
The staff= “there is no covenant with God but by a medium of somebody that representeth God’s person.”
Chapter XIII ▯ natural condition of mankind = mankind without gov. lawless governmentless society
Three key terms
Competition: the action of endeavoring to gain what another endeavors to gain at the same time
Diffidence: mistrust distrust misgiving doubt
Glory: disposition to claim honour for oneself boastful spirit
From equality proceeds diffidence
Compared to Plato’s Febrile City
Doesn’t start out hobbsian turns hobbsian
The Genesis of Leviathan ▯ how do you get from state of Nature to civil society.
Food is scarce and no gov to help so revert into hobbesian competition
The data: Bellum omnion contra omnes
A war of all against all. Anarchy without gov.
Leads to: Rights in the state of Nature
In warlike son everynone thinks they have a right to everything else even to other peoples bodies. Can only
limit people by a law which binds law is grasped by reason
Leads to: The ZeroSum Game problem
What I gain is your loss what you gain is your