Frederick Charles Copleston's A History of Philosophy [Vol IV] PDF

By Frederick Charles Copleston

ISBN-10: 0385468431

ISBN-13: 9780385468435

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The general spirit, however, of Locke's theory is different from that of Hobbes. Behind the latter we can see the fear of civil war and anarchy; behind the former we can see a concern with the preservation and promotion of liberty. The stress which Locke lays on the separation between the legislative and executive powers reflects to some extent the struggle between parliament and monarch. The emphasis placed on the right to property is often said to reflect the outlook of the Whig landowners, the class to which Locke's patrons belonged.

Hobbes depicts men, therefore, as making a social covenant by which each man agrees to hand over to a sovereign his right of governing himself provided that every other member of the prospective society does the same. This covenant is obviously a fiction, a philosophical and rationalistic justification of society. But the point is that the constitution of political society and the erection of the sovereign take place together, by one act. It follows that if the sovereign loses his power, the society is dissolved.

IX B,I5. , VI, 70. A HISTORY OF PHILOSOPHY -IV DESCARTES (I) Secondly, he was resolved to avoid that confusion of the clear and evident with what is conjectural or at best only probable of which he accused the Scholastics. For him there was only one kind of knowledge worthy of the name, certain knowledge. Thirdly, Descartes was determined to attain and work with clear and distinct ideas and not, as he accused the Scholastics of sometimes doing, to use terms without any clear meaning or possibly without any meaning at all.

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A History of Philosophy [Vol IV] by Frederick Charles Copleston


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