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I. 17.1 On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres Nicolaus Copernicus
Europeans believed in a geocentric model of Aristotle and Ptolemy because it agreed with Scripture. Copernicus believed in a spherical earth. The earth at the center is a myth. There is diurnal rotation. If anyone refutes the idea of an earth-centered world, it would be reasonable because the stars are observed to be sometimes nearer to the Earth adn sometimes further, showing that the earth must move. The earth's motion is natural. Mobility of hte earth is more logical than immobility. Forget about whether the earth is finite or infinite
17.2 Francis Bacon On Superstition and the Virtue of Science
- Sir Francis Bacon bio: trained as a lawyer and served in court of English King James I; conducted experiments to illuminate the natural world.
- Argued for a new method for observation and reasoning based on drawing conclusions from specifics rather than theory and superstition.
- Said that discoveries were nonsense
- New method:
- - one from senses and most general axoms, and from these principles, the truth
- - the other derives axioms from the senses and particulars, rising by a gradual and unbroken ascent
- Philosophy vs. superstition and theology
- - discoveries of nature are harder and people fear that past example that changes in philosophy will impact religion
- Natural philosophy is the surest medicine against superstition
Charles de Secondat, Baron de Montesquieu From The Spirit of Laws: On the Separation of Governmental Powers
- a. In every government, there are three sorts of power: the legislative, the executive in respect to things dependent on the law of nations; and the executive in regard to matters that depend on the civil law
- i. The first, the prince enacts temporary or perpetual laws
- ii. The second, he makes peace or war, sends or receives embassies, establishes the public security, and provides against invasions
- iii. The third, he punishes criminals
- b. Political liberty of the subject is the tranquility of mind
- c. If any of the powers be united, there will be no liberty. That is because there will be arbitrary control
- i. End to all
- d. Most people who have a prince with two out of three powers manages because he gives third power to subjects, such as urkey
- i. Italy: one man+ three powers= less liberty
- e. Poor subject most disadvantaged
- i. They may plunder the state by their general determinations
Jean- Jacques Rousseau The Social Contract: On Popular Sovereignty and the General Will
- I. Rousseau was born in Swiss Geneva. He left Geneva at 16, lived on charity and did odd jobs, but The Social Contract was part of an extended argument that people could change the form of government.
- He says that noone has natural authority over fellowmen. Men can combine forces and form an association that will defend and protect with the whole force of hte community. Every one willingly gives up his supreme direction of the general will, even though he'll always desire their own good. The public force requries a suitable agent to communicate between the state and people. The people didn't say they'll just follow laws or give all their power to a government. Government jurisdiction will cease when the people are assembled as a sovereign body.
1. Letters to Holy Roman emperor Charles V about his conquest of the Aztec Empire of Mexico
- a. He was impressed, but still killed the Aztec population, even unarmed members of the Aztec nobility who had assembled peaceably
- i. He said it was to instill fear and prevent future treachery
- b. Second Letter
- i. Description of Tenochtitlan
- 1. Four approaches by means of artificial causeways; large; broad streets; bridges that are large and strong; city squares with markets where buying and selling occurs; fashion of living similar to Spain; people cut off from knowledge of God; admired them
- c. Fifth Letter
- i. Indian witnessed eating another. The Spaniards burned the Indian because eating another was pribited by Your Majesty. All must stop this. They are there to protect the Indians and their property and teach about God and divert them from idols which are associated with the devil. Cortes taught that Your Majesty rules the universe and they should be subject to it
15.5 Saint Francis Xavier
- I. The Society of Jesus was founded to stop Protestant ideas spread and teach Catholicism in Europe and around the world. Xavier was one of the members and one of the first Jesuits to travel across Asia as a missionary
- Xavier and men landed at Cagoxima but were opposed by the bonzes, who prevented the whole town's conversion and persuaded the king that divine law will ruin htem. They ried to get the king to condemn the Christians.
- Xavier and men then went to Amanguchi, where they preached the Gospel to people. They were harmed, but the king summoned them and asked for an explanation about God. He then sent presents and letters to bishops and published edicts declaring his approval of divine law. He also gave a monastery, where they gave sermons and converted people
I. 16.2 Politics Drawn from the Very Words of Holy Scripture by Jacques-Benigne Bossuet
- He says that all power is of God and the ruler is God's instrument for rule. Using their power for bad is sacrilege. Kings can't use their power as they please. They must have self-restrain. Although royal power is absolute, it is not arbitrary. Therefore, execute your job well.
- There is an undertone that isn't totally about absolutism. Exercise power boldly but with humility.
I. 16.6 John Locke, Second Treatise of Civil Government: Vindication for the Glorious Revolution (1690)
- 1. One of the greatest English political theorists of the 17th c.
- 2. Published anonymously in 1690, arguing that government is an agreement between governors and the governed.
- a. The people submit to governmental authority in return for protection of their life, liberty, and property, and the governors’ fundamental task is to provide these protections.
- b. A government that fails to do this can be overthrown
- He says that rulers and citizens relationship is a contract. The state of nature: everyone for himself; must be given up be in a community. They are in an era when people want absolutism, but they see what happens when it gets out of hand.
- People must give up powers to the commonwealth to allow for preservation of property and just rule. Under the commonwealth, people can be protected as the commonwealth dictates punishments and punishes injuries done. When man enters society, they give up their powers, putting man out of the state of Nature and into that of the commonwealth. An absolute monarchy just wouldn't work in this civil society