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July 18 - Machiavelli codifies the themes of the...

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Machiavelli codifies the themes of the renaissance. 1) Emergence of the idea of individualism. Most societies were organic collective communities. 2) An individual relationship with G-d was always mediated through the church 3) Even the way the early moderns framed the issues were framed in ways that could not have been done before Machiavelli’s time. He represented a transition 4) Emergence of the idea of scientific. Using reason, logic, and empirical evidence. Which is very different from Plato in which reason could be used to discover the laws of politics The thinkers of the church kept reason alive. By the time Rousseau writes there is a full transition to the scientific method that were developed by Francis Bacon and Rene Descartes. Under the religious paradigm the (veracity) truth value of something is based on faith. The enlightenment period showed that the way to know the world was through science. There was a tension with the Church. It is the rise of reason combined with science that is the predominant intellectual framework of the time, Rousseau rebelled against this. By 1712, the idea of science as the king of our advancement was predominant in Western Europe. He is one of the social contract thinkers along with Hobbes and Locke. This is during the rise of mercantile capitalism (based on commerce and trade). Beginning of large urban areas. You needed a strong central state to create laws to control commerce and regulate (ex. Curreny, contacts, and standard weights and measures). They took the idea of a contract out of the business world and applied it to the political. Rousseau develops his theory in contrast to the other two. They embraced science and reason, he wanted to use mathematics (understanding the precise relationships between things). He critiques that and accuses it of producing human ills. He thinks it produces human alienation. Marx uses many of the ideas of Rousseau. Despite that the fact that he is not a rigorous. He is a key thinker because he inspired many thinkers (Kant and Marx). He gave life to Romanticism in Germany. It was opposed to the primacy of science. It said science decicated the quality of human experience because it reduced it to abstract relationships. Rousseau was born in Geneva. He was an orphan and traveled to France and was very knowledgeable of the classics. During the period between Machiavelli and Rousseau there was dramatic change as a result of the Reformation. When Luther revolted he was reacting to the incredible corruption of the Chruch, This was more than a split between theologians. Church was being challenged by the rise of secular power. It was a reflection of these societies trying to adapt to the changes that were occurring.
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