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References and Further Reading 1. Introduction Hobbes is the founding father of modern political philosophy.
|Sorry! Something went wrong!||Nehemiah 10 Key verse:|
|Contract Management||My hunch is that many who call themselves Christians like my friend, have never fully surrendered to the Lord. He was certainly one of the people most used by God in our time.|
|Contract With God Sermon by Nathan Johnson, Nehemiah - timberdesignmag.com||And I'm delighted to say my special guest on the programme today, having a chat about his lengthy career and playing some live music, we've popped up to London today to Maida Vale Studios here in London to meet the one and only Mr Eric Stewart. Eric, welcome to the programme.|
Directly or indirectly, he has set the terms of debate about the fundamentals of political life right into our own times. Few have liked his thesis, that the problems of political life mean that a society should accept an unaccountable sovereign as its sole political authority.
Nonetheless, we still live in the world that Hobbes addressed head on: We can put the matter in terms of the concern with equality and rights that Hobbes's thought heralded: But what or who determines what those rights are? And who will enforce them? In other words, who will exercise the most important political powers, when the basic assumption is that we all share the same entitlements?
We can see Hobbes's importance if we briefly compare him with the most famous political thinkers before and after him. A century before, Nicolo Machiavelli had emphasized the harsh realities of power, as well as recalling ancient Roman experiences of political freedom.
Machiavelli appears as the first modern political thinker, because like Hobbes he was no longer prepared to talk about politics in terms set by religious faith indeed, he was still more offensive than Hobbes to many orthodox believersinstead, he looked upon politics as a secular discipline divorced from theology.
But unlike Hobbes, Machiavelli offers us no comprehensive philosophy: How is political authority justified and how far does it extend? In particular, are our political rulers properly as unlimited in their powers as Hobbes had suggested? And if they are not, what system of politics will ensure that they do not overstep the mark, do not trespass on the rights of their subjects?
So, in assessing Hobbes's political philosophy, our guiding questions can be: What did Hobbes write that was so important? How was he able to set out a way of thinking about politics and power that remains decisive nearly four centuries afterwards? We can get some clues to this second question if we look at Hobbes's life and times.
Life and Times Hobbes's biography is dominated by the political events in England and Scotland during his long life. Born inthe year the Spanish Armada made its ill-fated attempt to invade England, he lived to the exceptional age of 91, dying in He was not born to power or wealth or influence: Those intellectual abilities, and his uncle's support, brought him to university at Oxford.
And these in turn - together with a good deal of common sense and personal maturity - won him a place tutoring the son of an important noble family, the Cavendishes. This meant that Hobbes entered circles where the activities of the King, of Members of Parliament, and of other wealthy landowners were known and discussed, and indeed influenced.
Thus intellectual and practical ability brought Hobbes to a place close to power - later he would even be math tutor to the future King Charles II.
Although this never made Hobbes powerful, it meant he was acquainted with and indeed vulnerable to those who were.
As the scene was being set for the Civil Wars of and - wars that would lead to the King being executed and a republic being declared - Hobbes felt forced to leave the country for his personal safety, and lived in France from to Even after the monarchy had been restored inHobbes's security was not always certain: Thus Hobbes lived in a time of upheaval, sharper than any England has since known.
This turmoil had many aspects and causes, political and religious, military and economic. England stood divided against itself in several ways.
The rich and powerful were divided in their support for the King, especially concerning the monarch's powers of taxation. Society was divided religiously, economically, and by region. Inequalities in wealth were huge, and the upheavals of the Civil Wars saw the emergence of astonishingly radical religious and political sects.The legendary graphic novel and the sequels that launched an art form.
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