Hobbes, Thomas Hobbes's influence. His life.

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1 Hobbes, Thomas ( ), was an English philosopher. His most famous work, Leviathan, or the Matter, Form, and Power of a Commonwealth, Ecclesiastical and Civil (1651), was concerned with political theory. In this work, he denied that people are naturally social beings. He argued instead that people's most basic motives are selfish considerations. Hobbes was influenced by two developments of his time. One was a new system of physics that Galileo and others were working out. From their ideas, Hobbes concluded that only matter exists and that everything that happens can be predicted in accordance with exact, scientific laws. Many people of his time believed that his view denied the existence of both God and a free human soul that is immortal. But Hobbes himself denied this. The second great influence on Hobbes's thought was the English Civil War ( ). People, he concluded, are selfish. They are moved chiefly by desire for power and by fear of others. Thus, without an all powerful sovereign to rule them, their lives would be "poor, nasty, brutish, and short." These views also shocked his contemporaries. Hobbes's influence. Though modern physics is not so materialistic as it seemed to be in Hobbes's day and though human motives are more complex than he supposed, Hobbes's influence continues. He raised fundamental and challenging questions about the relationship between science and religion, the relationship between thought and the physiological processes on which it is based, and the nature and limitations of political power. The questions that Hobbes raised are ones that people still struggle to answer. His life. Hobbes was born on April 5, 1588, in Westport (now part of Malmesbury), England. He was educated at Oxford University and served as secretary to Sir Francis Bacon and as tutor to William Cavendish, who later became Earl of Devonshire. Hobbes traveled widely with Cavendish and came into contact with many European philosophers and scientists. During the English Civil War, Hobbes fled to the European continent. For a short time, he tutored the Prince of Wales, later Charles II, in mathematics. Though Hobbes returned to England while Oliver Cromwell's Protectorate was still in power, he was able to make peace with Charles II when Charles became king in Hobbes died on Dec. 4, 1679.

2 Locke, John ( ), was an English philosopher. His writings have influenced political science and philosophy. Locke's book Two Treatises of Government (1690) strongly influenced Thomas Jefferson in the writing of the Declaration of Independence. His life. Locke was born on Aug. 29, 1632, in Wrington in Somerset County. He attended Oxford University. In 1666, he met Anthony Ashley Cooper, who later became the first Earl of Shaftesbury. The two men became close friends. In 1679, the earl became involved in plots against the king, and suspicion also fell on Locke. The philosopher decided to leave England. In 1683, he moved to the Netherlands, where he met Prince William and Princess Mary of Orange. William and Mary became the rulers of England in 1689, and Locke returned to England as a court favorite. Until his death, on Oct. 28, 1704, he wrote widely on such subjects as educational reform, freedom of the press, and religious tolerance. His philosophy. Locke's major work was An Essay Concerning Human Understanding (1690). It describes his theory of how the mind functions in learning about the world. Locke argued against the doctrine of innate ideas, which stated that ideas were part of the mind at birth and not learned or acquired later from outside sources. Locke claimed that all ideas were placed in the mind by experience. He declared that there were two kinds of experience, outer and inner. Outer experience was acquired through the senses of sight, taste, hearing, smell, and touch, which provide information about the external world. Inner experience was acquired by thinking about the mental processes involved in sifting these data, which furnished information about the mind. Locke believed that the universe contained three kinds of things minds, various types of bodies, and God. Bodies had two kinds of properties. One kind was mathematically measurable, such as length and weight, and existed in the bodies themselves. The second kind was qualitative, such as sound and color. These properties were not in the bodies themselves but were simply powers that bodies had to produce ideas of colors and sounds in the mind. According to Locke, a good life was a life of pleasure. Pleasure and pain were simple ideas that accompanied nearly all human experiences. Ethical action involved determining which act in a given situation would produce the greatest pleasure and then performing that act. Locke also believed that God had established divine law. This law could be discovered by reason, and to disobey it was morally wrong. Locke thought that divine law and the pleasure principle were compatible. Locke believed that people by nature had certain rights and duties. These rights included liberty, life, and ownership of property. By liberty, Locke meant political equality. The task of any state was to protect people's rights. States inconvenience people in various ways. Therefore, the justification for a state's existence had to be found in its ability to protect human rights better than individuals could on their own. Locke declared that if a government did not adequately protect the rights of its citizens, they had the right to find other rulers.

3 Rousseau, Jean Jacques, ( ), was a French philosopher. He was the most important writer of the Enlightenment, a period of European history that extended from the late 1600's to the late 1700's. Rousseau's philosophy helped shape the political events that led to the French Revolution. His works have influenced education, literature, and politics. Early life. Rousseau was born on June 28, 1712, in Geneva, in what is now Switzerland. The Rousseau family was of French Protestant origin and had been living in Geneva for nearly 200 years. Rousseau's mother died as a result of giving birth to him, leaving the infant to be raised by his quarrelsome father. As the result of a fight in 1722, Rousseau's father was forced to flee Geneva. The boy's uncle then took responsibility for his upbringing. In Paris, Rousseau became friends with the philosophes, a group of famous writers and philosophers of the time. He gained the patronage of well known financiers. Through their sponsorship, he served in Venice as secretary to the French ambassador in 1743 and His ideas. Rousseau criticized society in several essays. For example, in "Discourse on the Origin and Foundations of Inequality" (1755), he attacked society and private property as causes of inequality and oppression. The New Heloise (1761) is both a romantic novel and a work that strongly criticizes the false codes of morality Rousseau saw in society. In The Social Contract (1762), a landmark in the history of political science, Rousseau gave his views concerning government and the rights of citizens. In the novel Emile (1762), Rousseau stated that children should be taught with patience and understanding. Rousseau recommended that the teacher appeal to the child's interests, and discouraged strict discipline and tiresome lessons. However, he also felt that children's thoughts and behavior should be controlled. Rousseau believed that people are not social beings by nature. He stated that people, living in a natural condition, isolated and without language, are kind and without motive or impulse to hurt one another. However, once they live together in society, people become evil. Society corrupts individuals by bringing out their inclination toward aggression and selfishness. Rousseau did not advise people to return to a natural condition. He thought that people could come closest to the advantages of that condition in a simple agricultural society in which desires could be limited, egotistical drives controlled, and energies directed toward community life. In his writings, he outlined institutions he believed were necessary to establish a democracy in which all citizens would participate. Rousseau believed that laws should express the general will of the people. Any kind of government could be considered legitimate, provided that social organization was by common consent. According to Rousseau, all forms of government would eventually tend to decline. The degeneration could be restrained only through the control of moral standards and the elimination of special interest groups. Montesquieu, ( ), was a French philosopher. His major work, The Spirit of the Laws (1748), influenced the writing of many constitutions, including the Constitution of the United States. Montesquieu, whose real name was Charles de Secondat, was born near Bordeaux. He inherited the title Baron de la Brede et de Montesquieu. He gained fame with his Persian Letters (1721), which ridiculed Parisian life and many French institutions. He also criticized the church and national governments of France. Montesquieu was admitted to the French Academy

4 in He lived in England from 1729 to 1731 and came to admire the British political system. Montesquieu believed that laws underlie all things human, natural, and divine. One of philosophy's major tasks was to discover these laws. It was difficult to study humanity because the laws governing human nature were complex. Yet Montesquieu believed these laws could be found by empirical (experimental) methods of investigation. Knowledge of the laws would ease the ills of society and improve life. Montesquieu said there were three basic types of government monarchal, republican, and despotic. A monarchal government had limited power placed in a king or queen. A republican government was either an aristocracy or a democracy. In an aristocracy, only a few had power. In a democracy, all had it. A despotic government was controlled by a tyrant, who had absolute authority. Montesquieu believed legal systems should vary according to the basic type of government. Montesquieu supported human freedom and opposed tyranny. He believed that political liberty involved separating the legislative, executive, and judicial powers of government. He believed that liberty and respect for properly constituted law could exist together.

5 Voltaire, ( ), was the pen name of Francois Marie Arouet, a French author and philosopher. Voltaire's clear style, sparkling wit, keen intelligence, and strong sense of justice made him one of France's most famous writers. Candide (1759), Voltaire's best known work, is a brilliant philosophical tale that has been translated into more than 100 languages. On the surface, the work describes the adventures of an inexperienced young man as he wanders around the world. Philosophically, Candide is recognized as a complex inquiry into the nature of good and evil. Voltaire, the son of a lawyer, was born on Nov. 21, 1694, in Paris. He received an excellent education at a Jesuit school. He showed little inclination to study law, and his schooling ended at the age of 16. He soon joined a group of sophisticated aristocrats who had little reverence for anything except wit, pleasure, and literary talent. Paris society sought Voltaire's company because of his cleverness, his remarkable ability to write verses, and his gift for making people laugh. There are several theories about the origin of Voltaire's pen name, which he adopted in The most widely accepted one is that Voltaire comes from an imperfect arrangement of the letters making up the French equivalent of Arouet the Younger. Imprisonment and early success. In 1717, Voltaire was imprisoned in the Bastille for satirical verses that he may or may not have written ridiculing the government. During his 11 months in prison, he finished his tragedy Oedipe. The success of the play in 1718 made Voltaire the greatest French playwright of his time. He maintained this reputation with more than 50 plays for the rest of his life. Voltaire published several later works. The most important ones were History of Charles XII (1731) and his best known play, Zaire (1732). In 1733, his Letters Concerning the English Nation appeared in England. This book appeared in France the next year in an unauthorized edition called Philosophical Letters. Voltaire's praise of English customs, institutions, and style of thought was an indirect criticism of their French counterparts. French authorities condemned the book, and Voltaire fled from Paris. Voltaire returned to Paris at the age of 83 and was enthusiastically received. There he saw his last play, Irene (1778), warmly applauded. But the excitement of the trip was too much for him, and he died in Paris on May 30, The Roman Catholic Church, because of much criticism by Voltaire, refused to allow him to be buried in church ground. However, his body was finally taken to an abbey in Champagne. In 1791, Voltaire's remains were transferred to the Pantheon in Paris, where many of France's greatest are buried.

6 Name Five Political Thinkers Name Biography Philosophical Ideas/Beliefs in Government Hobbes Locke Montesquieu Voltaire Rousseau

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