By Andrew Gamble
This e-book is a concise advisor to the most doctrines and tendencies in Western social and political proposal because the French Revolution. basically and easily written, the ebook contains short biographical information of significant person thinkers in addition to an annotated bibliography which supplies suggestions to extra analyzing.
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Additional info for An Introduction to Modern Social and Political Thought
The property, privileges, and power of Roman 36 MODERN SOCIAL AND POLITICAL THOUGHT landowners and feudal barons rested explicitly on the forced labour of slaves and serfs. The gulf between such classes was immense and the refinements of civilisation belonged to the few privileged individuals who had some leisure and could avoid unremitting manual labour. The great inequality in the distribution of property, the compulsion to labour for the vast majority, the hierarchy of rank and power, all were openly acknowledged and openly justified in such societies.
The modern concept of revolution and the idea of progress that is so closely tied to it, break decisively with the pessimistic outlook of the two main strands in traditional Western culture. It is often argued that this new direction for Western thought originated in the two complex historical movements in the period 1400 to 1600 which have acquired the labels of Renaissance and Reformation. The Renaissance, which flourished particularly in Italy, involved the rediscovery of the intellectual legacy of classical writers, classicalleaming, and classical models, and a rejection of much medieval teaching and medieval authority.
In the development of the concept of sovereignty can be seen the attempts to assert theoretically the character of the new secular public power against older views. Several writers, including Jean Bodin, in the sixteenth century, and Thomas Hobbes, in the seventeenth century, argued that the sovereignty of the state had no limits in principle, and no 50 MODERN SOCIAL AND POLITICAL THOUGHT need for justification outside itself. The state was not confined to administering traditional laws but could create new laws.