History of Philosophy-M&C Test #1

History of Philosophy-M&C Test #1 - History of Philosophy:...

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History of Philosophy: Modern and Contemporary Test #1 History of Philosophy: Philosophy During the Renaissance Niccolo Machiavelli (1469-1527 - During his political career in government and diplomacy, he gave considerable thought to the rules or principles of effective political behavior. - He recorded his thoughts in two books. o The Discourses- He writes approvingly of the Roman Republic, expressing enthusiasm for self-government and liberty. o The Prince- He emphasizes on the need for an absolute monarch. - He thought it is all too obvious that people are evil. He found corruption at every level of political and religious government. - Believed that a basically corrupt society required a strong government. He believed that a monarchy was the most preferable form of government since republics are rarely well ordered. - In The Prince he recommended that rulers should develop the art of deception and do whatever necessary – even abandon traditional moral values – for political survival. He believed only the shrewdest and craftiest individuals could manage the precarious art of governing. - He concluded that to think of political behavior in moral terms would be to expose oneself to all the dangers that clever opponents could create. - The ruler should not practice Christian morals because it would cause them to become prey for evil-minded men. However, the masses need to follow Christian ethics as a necessary means of securing peace within society. - He believed that the rulers must have the freedom to adjust their acts to the requirements of each occasion, without feeling bound to any objective moral rules. - He felt that the attitudes of the masses continually shifted, and this inconsistency must be matched by the ruler’s shrewdness and swift adaptability. - He repelled any notions that would require the ruler to be domesticated by morality. - He valued cunningness higher than moral conviction; the ruler should choose only those means that could guarantee that the ends in fact be achieved. - The ruler should only be virtuous only if his best interests are served thereby. But even when the ruler abandons traditional morals for the sake of survival, the ruler must disguise this character well and be a great feigner and dissembler. Martin Luther (1483-1546) - Luther was deeply influenced by two great medieval philosophers – Augustine and Ockham. - “It is the quality of faith that it wrings the neck of reason.” Thus things that seem impossible to reason are possible to faith. - Ockham argued that we cannot discover God through the mere use of reason and so-called proofs for his existence. Rather we gain knowledge of God through faith, which is a gift of grace from God himself. Luther adopted this position
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wholeheartedly. -
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This note was uploaded on 06/14/2010 for the course PL 20166 taught by Professor Collins during the Spring '10 term at Lipscomb.

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History of Philosophy-M&C Test #1 - History of Philosophy:...

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