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TOWARDS MODERNITY

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Maria Silvia Bertacca

on 13 April 2015

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Transcript of TOWARDS MODERNITY

How many kinds there are?
Modernity
MACHIAVELLI
1469-1527
The Prince - De Principatibus
(1517)
Ecclesiastical, hereditary or new principalities (the latter can be either entirely new or mixed)
-----> NO questions over the legitimacy of the acquisition of new territories
Mixed principalities: the prince should not change laws, he should instead wipe out the family of his predecessors, weaken any strong neighbouring enemy, destroy a city that used to living in liberty
On cruelty and mercy
JOHN LOCKE: the birth of the liberal state
"TOWARDS MODERNITY"

Machiavelli, Hobbes
& Locke

-departure from or repudiation of traditional ideas, doctrines and cultural values
-human equality
-secularization
-science over superstition
-urbanization
-growth of free market capitalism
-rise of the middle class

a modern man: realistic and laical approach
focus on the most common form of government of that time: principalities
5 main questions: 1) What are principalities? 2) How many kinds are there? 3) By what means are they acquired? 4) How are they maintained? 5)Why are they lost?
Maria Silvia Bertacca, Daria Lubkova, & Enrico Donda
every prince must desire to be considered merciful and not cruel
but be able to"entrare nel male, necessitato"
few examples of cruelty can be more efficacious than excessive mercy

VIRTUE AND FORTUNE
MORALITY
Discourses On The First Decade of Titus Livy
an extensive work divided in 3 books
his intent is to compare ancient with modern times
I Chapter: the origins of cities, of Rome in particularly;
II Chapter: on the vary kinds of government, and to which of them Rome belonged;
IX Chapter: Necessity to be the sole authority if one would constitute a republic afresh or would it reform it;
X Chapter: That in proportion as the founder of a Kingdom or Commonwealth merits praise, he who founds a Tyranny deserves blame
Historical Context
In the 16th century Italy was not a unified country.
It constituted the battleground for several powers.
In 1494 the Medici's authority was repudiated and the Republic of Florence was established; it lasted until Pope Julius II sent his troops to Florence and the Medici were restored again.


-cheat
-appearance of being religious
-keep your word only when it is suitable
-have your own army

In order of appearance :
Whether it is better to be loved than to be feared or the contrary
"Love is a bond of obligation which men break whenever it suits them to do so; but fear holds them fast by a dread of punishment that never passes"
As there are no moral basis on which to judge the difference between legitimate or illegitimate uses of power:
he has been labeled as an immoral
others instead, such as Benedetto Croce, see him simply as a realist
Jean-Jacques Rousseau held that the real lesson about The Prince is to reach people the truth about how princes behave
How to be the perfect prince:
BIOGRAPHY
Born in 1469 in Florence from a bourgeoise family
he served the Republic of Florence from 1498 until the restoration of the Medici Family
he was obliged to retire from public life
he dedicated himself to literature until his last day
-be prudent
-love of glory
-be virtuous
Machiavelli's concept of virtue
the prince must have a flexible disposition in order to maintain the safety and security of the state
fortune is the threat of political order
Discourses The Prince
maintaining the stability of the Republic
aim: common good
analysis of political structures
interaction between social classes
harmonic division of power between the Ruler, the Nobility and the People
retention of power for the Ruler
aim: personal gain
analysis of personal qualities
individual relations and behavior
concentration of power in the hands of the Ruler
CHAPTER II
he analyses only those cities who have been free since their origin
there are 3 forms of government: 3 good forms that decay systematically into their vicious counterparts
the good forms: principality, aristocracy, democracy
the bad forms: tyrany, oligarchy, anarchy
Machiavelli's solution: a mixed government as Sparta was
ROME'S SUCCESS
lies in 2 factors:
1) a social strata made of different components represented in a mixed government (the Nobles, the Commons)
2) religion as a mean of power
comparison between religion of ancient times and Christianity
REFLECTIONS

-enunciates the doctrine of “reason of state” the doctrine that the good of the state itself takes precedence over all other considerations, whether morality or the good of citizens
-men are bad, only the state can constitute a remedy for human nature
-principalities are only transitory forms of government, necessary in certain circumstances
-the better form of government is the republic which disciplins the anarchic forces of men
-lessons from ancient and modern politics: because man always behave in he same way
Thomas Hobbes
1588 - 1679
Biography
was born in Westport, England in1588
graduated from Oxford in 1608
became a private tutor in 1609
spent 11 years in exile in Paris
worked with Francis Bacon, Marin Mersenne and René Descartes
finished his best-known work 'Leviathan' at the age of 63
continued to write on mathematics, physics and philosophy up until his death in 1679

Historical Context
The English Civil War (1642–1651)

The Peace of Westphalia (1648)

the individual sovereign state would henceforth become the highest level of authority

the head of each state would have the right to determine the religion of the state
Leviathan
(1651)
one of the earliest and most influential examples of social contract theory

a central problem is the problem of authority
what makes authority possible?
in order to answer this question Hobbes created the ideas of

the state of nature
and
the sovereign
“In such condition there is no place for industry, because the fruit thereof is uncertain, <...> no knowledge of the face of the earth, no account of time, no arts, no letters, no society, and which is worst of all, continual fear and danger of violent death, and the life of man, solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.”

Hobbes, Leviathan, XIII. 9.

The State of Nature as a thought experiment
the condition of human life in the absence of authority

not some kind of primitive anthropological state

the state of nature exists whenever authority is not enforced
The State of Nature as a moral conception
Individualism
Skepticism
Passions are the dominant force of human psychology, mainly
war of all against all
no one has natural authority over anyone else
no divine Noos, the divine intelligence
no morality
“no signs or fruit of religion, but in man only”
fear
and
pride
The Law of Nature
"a precept, or general rule, found out by reason, by which a man is forbidden to do that which is destructive of his life, or takes away the means of preserving the same; and to omit that by which he thinks it may best be preserved”

Hobbes, Leviathan, XIV

there are 19 Laws of Nature

the first and most fundamental law of nature is

to seek peace and follow it
The Sovereign
is less a person than an office
is the representative of the people (paradox!) 
its power must be unlimited and undivided
is the source of law
the sovereign can never act unjustly
the purpose of the sovereign is to impose law and order to prevent the state of war
GLORIOUS REVOLUTION
Two treatises on government (1690), MANIFESTO of the glorious revolution
Principle of parliamentatism and constitutional limits to the power of the king
William III of Orange is forced to accept the THE BILL OF RIGHTS
THE FIRST TREATISE ON GOVERNMENT
NO DIVINE ORIGIN OF POWER in oppposition to J. Filmer (medieval conception)
Implied idea that is necessary to base politics on reason
THE SECOND TREATISE ON GOVERNMENT
NATURAL RIGHTS
1. RIGHT TO FREEDOM: A STATE OF PERFECT FREEDOM AND EQUALITY - “wherein all the power and jurisdiction is reciprocal, no one having more power than another” §4 ch.II

 - NO ONE IS SUPERIOR TO ANOTHER


2. RIGHT TO LIFE: “every man hath a right to punish the offender and be executioner of the law of nature” §8 ch. II

Consequences:

SELF-DEFENCE
LACK OF AN IMPARTIAL JUDGE
HIGHLY POSSIBLE TO FALL IN A STATE OF WAR

3. RIGHT TO PROPERTY: “the great and chief end” §124 ch. IX

WHO WORKS THE LAND, OWNS IT
“labour makes the far greatest part of the value of things we enjoy in this World § 41 ch. V”

DISPARITY AMONG MEN
MONEY CONTRIBUTES TO INCREASE INEQUALITY

THE CREATION OF THE STATE
THROUGH A SOCIAL CONTRACT WE GIVE THE POWER TO AN IMPARTIAL JUDGE
THE STATE IS NECESSARY TO OVERCOME THE LIMITS OF THE STATE OF NATURE AND PRESERVE THE NATURAL RIGHTS
POLITCAL POWER IS BASED ON CONSENT
THE CREATION OF THE STATE
An assembly (PARLIAMENT) appoints a government (KING)
Distinction between LEGISLATIVE, EXECUTIVE and FEDERATIVE POWER
Principle of REVOLUTION (appeal to heaven)
THE US DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE (1776)
RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE PEOPLE AND THE GOVERNMENT
LEGITIMATION FROM THE PEOPLE
RIGHT OF REVOLUTION

“Under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty to throw off such government”
Declaration of Independence
AND TO SUM UP.....
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