A History of Western Philosophy: Hobbes to Hume by W. T. Jones, Robert J. Fogelin

By W. T. Jones, Robert J. Fogelin

A heritage OF WESTERN PHILOSOPHY examines the character of philosophical firm and philosophy's position in Western tradition. Jones and Fogelin weave key passages from vintage philosophy works into their reviews and criticisms, giving A heritage OF WESTERN PHILOSOPHY the mixed benefits of a resource e-book and textbook. The textual content concentrates on significant figures in each one historic interval, combining exposition with direct quotations from the philosophers themselves. The textual content areas philosophers in acceptable cultural context and indicates how their theories mirror the worries in their instances.

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Renowned philosophers have given an almost complete demonstration. ® According to philosophy, and thus from the point of view of reason, the clergy have no special status; they are to be considered on exactly the same basis as blacksmiths, doctors, or soldiers: What do they contribute to the "sufficiency" of the state? Under the guise of exalting revelation, Marsiglio removed it from consideration, and with it went any need for allowing the claims of the clergy to a special status in the state.

Hence, since "a prince's private interests are generally in opposition to those of his subjects," most princes are tyrants. Fortunate indeed is a people ruled by a virtuous prince. Of course, when Machiavelli talked about a "virtuous" prince, he did not mean one who exemplifies the standard Christian virtues of charity and forbearance. He meant a ruler who is shrewd enough to serve his own interests well without so crossing those of his subjects as to make them rebellious. 1 4 This realistic insight contrasts with the cheerful facility with which Bodin and the medieval theorists wrote about what a "good king" will do for his people.

Success there went to the most energetic. Another strand in the web was the development, at Antwerp, of a new trading policy. Instead of trying to maintain a monopoly for its own merchants, Antwerp welcomed any kind of trade whatever: Foreigners were hospitably received instead of being excluded; the various toll stations along the Scheldt River, leading from the sea to the city, were bought up so that merchants would have a duty-free port. " RISE OF THE MONEY POWER Such fairs as those held in the thirteenth century in Champagne had been neutral points at which merchants could come together to exchange goods, and over the years an international "law merchant," as it was called, had gradually developed, quite distinct from the codes that governed the inhabitants of each local community.

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