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Level 13

Western Political Theory III


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Hegel on 'Geist'
Mind or spirit. Ultimate reality conceived in terms of the spirit, which develops itself throughout history on the path to absolute knowledge.
Hegel on Reason
Reason is the sum total of reality, not some quality which is attributed to some human subject. In this belief, Hegel claims that reason and reality are strictly identical: only reason is real and only reality is reasonable.
Hegel on Freedom
Stages to knowing and freedom:
Hegel on History
History is rational / not random; history is spirit in time. History is reality as the progress of Spirit unfolds.
Hegel on the Dialectic
Hegel's Dialectic is the concept of conflict and contradiction, how history progresses:
Hegel - 'Herr und Knecht' and the Struggle for Recognition
Lord and bondsman (master and slave) and the struggle between them. The Master (Independent) risks death to preserve freedom. The Slave (Dependent) loses freedom to keep life.
Hegel on Idea and Reality
Essence of all reality is spirit; starts from a single principle or a single subject.
Hegel on the State
Universal spirit is embodied in the State; it is the divine will. Embodies the ethical idea of freedom. State's purpose is freedom.
Hegel on Civil Society and Family
Civil society is "universal egoism" with true independence but less belonging.
Hegel on Corporations
Corporations are the pillars of society. [Corporations applied to the business class and aren't what they are today. In Hegel's day they were more like voluntary associations based on occupation or various social interests.]
Hegel on Abstract Right
every right leads an intended duty and every duty leads to an intended right. one person has the right and another person has the corresponding duty.
Hegel on Morality
We act moral when we act subjectively. We act morally when we act without the law telling us to do right.
Hegel on the Ethical Life (Ethical Idea)
... the ethical order is freedom or the absolute will as what is objective ... in duty the individual finds his liberation.
TBD
Bentham on Natural Law, the Social Contract, Common Law, and Tradition
Hegel Compared to Marx
Hegel had striven to express the way that freedom developed only at the level of the whole of society, what he called 'Spirit'. Marx sought to uncover the possibility of the social individual, whose …
Hegel on the Stages of History
History progresses from lower moments of consciousness and freedom to higher levels.
Hegel on Poverty in Civil Society
Poverty is not only people deprived of their physical means, but also of personality and humanity as well.
Hegel - Prof. Hartman on Hegel's Influence
The influence of his philosophy confirms his thesis that universal Reason, through men, shapes history. The fate of this philosophy bears witness to its dialectical form. The most rational and religious philosopher, Hegel unchained…
Marx on the Dialectic
Marx adopts Hegel's dialectic form (affirmation, negation, and negation of the negation).
Marx on Materialism
Spirits / ideas are the products of Material composition.
Marx on "Life Determines Consciousness"
Life is not determined by consciousness, but consciousness by life.
Marx on Class Struggle
History is class struggle; there is always conflict / struggle over production.
Marx on Alienation
Four kinds of alienation that characterize capitalist society:
Marx on Freedom
Freedom is found positively in relations with our people (community).
Marx on History
(See Marx on Class Struggle card)
Marx on Ideas and the Ruling Class
The ideas of any age are the ideas of the ruling class.
Marx on the Means of Production and the Relationship to Society
means of production - the tools (instruments) and the raw Material (subject) You use to create something.
Marx and Engels on the State
Engels believed that the modern state, no matter what form of government, is essentially a capitalist machine.
Marx on Labor and Human Nature
We are laboring animals by nature; 'homo laborans.'
Bentham on Utilitarianism / Greatest Happiness Principle
Utilitarianism is the greatest good (happiness) for the greatest amount of people.
Bentham on "Felicific Calculus"
Formula for calculating the amount of pleasure:
Bentham on Quality of Pleasure
Quality of pain doesn't matter, quantity does.
Bentham on "Pushpin and Poetry"
To describe pleasure; the activity does not matter, all pleasures are equal. QUANTITY of pleasure matters.
Mill on Socrates and Fools, Humans and Pigs
It is better to be a human being dissatisfied than a pig satisfied; better to be Socrates dissatisfied than a fool satisfied. And if the fool, or the pig, are of a different opinion…
Mill on Representation
Proportional Representation ensures minority representation. Superior to a majority system where winner takes all.
Mill on Majoritarian Democracy
The most intelligent should rule but make sure minorities have equal opportunity and fair representation.
Mill on "Democracy of Excellence"
Need to be able to choose good and excellent rulers. Some people aren't capable of ruling, which can lead to mediocre democracy. Reason must guide power.
Mill on Self-Regarding and Other Regarding Interests
We are guided by self-interest, but we can have a doctrine that begins with self-interest for the good or good of others. No selfishness. Begins with individual, but doesn't end there. We must be impar…
Mill on the State
The proper role of the state is a minimal involvement. The state should not dwarf us. Government should encourage and guide, but not take over.
Mill's View on Progress and Human Development
Three Stages of History (in descending order):
Mill on Suffrage
Suffrage should be universal but weighted votes. Anyone who studies politics, has education, or contributes to society are smarter should be counted more than once. If you aren't a taxpaying, intelligent, and involved citizen, you shouldn't vote.
Mill on the Intellectual / Cultural Elite
Most intellectual people should rule and their votes should count for more in elections than other citizens who don't meet certain qualifications.
Mill on Women
We don't know what women are capable of because we never let them try. Mill was one of the first women's right advocates.
Spencer on "Survival of the Fittest;" Social Darwinism
Applied evolutionary concepts to social relationships. The quality of society is physically lowered by its most feeble members.
Spencer on Simplicity / Complexity
All existence grew through a series of transformations from the simple to the complex by successive diversity.
Spencer on "The Good for Nothing"
Spencer referred to the poor as "good for nothing."
Spencer on the Role of the State and Role of the Government
The role of the state is limited to protection, no restrictions should be placed on commerce and no provision made for social welfare or education.
Spencer on the Spurious Philanthropist
Spencer believes that legislators and philanthropists hinder the "adaptation" process (survival of the fittest) when they should be aiding it.
Spencer on Nature's Discipline
The whole effort of nature was to get rid of the inefficient and to make room for the better. If they were not sufficiently complete to live, they died, and it was best that they should die.
Maritain on the Importance of Political Life and the Common Good of Society
the body politic exists for man insofar as he is a person. the society of which he is a member must therefore be based on a Common good which includes cultural and spiritual (Christianity) as well as Material values.
Free society characterized as:
Maritain on Pluralism and the Free Society
Maritain on the Role of the Gospels
The Gospels are the sources of liberty and fraternity (union), virtues of justice and friendship, practical respect for the human person, and the feeling of responsibility before God.
Naturally individually self-interested.
Niebuhr on Moral and Social Behavior, Individuals, and Groups
Niebuhr on the Character of Human Collectives
Individuals have a moral code which makes the actions of collective man an outrage to their conscience.
Niebuhr on Society and the Perpetual State of War
Society lacks moral and rational resources to organize life, men remain victims to individuals and classes, leading to conflict.
Niebuhr on Egoistic Impulse and the Limits of Reason
The force of egoistic (self-centered) impulse is much more powerful than any. Reason may check egoism. Rationality still seems weak.
Niebuhr on Justice and Democracy
Man's capacity for justice makes democracy possible; but man's inclination to injustice makes democracy necessary.
Niebuhr on Interest and Humility
Democracy requires more than religious devotion to moral ideas; it also requires religious humility. The only good is God.
Pope Leo XIII on Reason and Will as It Relates to the Soul
Reason sees that whatever things that are held to be good upon earth ... it leaves the will free to choose what it pleases.
Pope Leo XIII on the Church and Freedom (Liberty)
According to the Church: Freedom/liberty is ONLY given to people who have the gift of reason or intelligence.
Pope Leo XIII on Morality, Freedom, and Law
Law guides the actions of man, turns him towards good and away from evil. Law is the ordination of reason.
Pope Leo XIII on Natural and Eternal Law
Natural Law: natural law is engraved in the mind of every man and this is nothing but our reason.
Forbid the state to be Godless
Pope Leo XIII on God and Man, Good and Evil
Pope John XXIII on the Economic Order and the Common Good
Economic order is creation of personal initiative of private citizens, but public authorities must not remain inactive and must promote progress.
Pope John XXIII on Personal Initiative and Public Responsibility
The presence of the state in the economy must not restrict freedom of personal initiative of individual citizens. State should promote individuals to exercise free development of productive activities.
Pope John XXIII on Socialization
Includes economic planning and state-run welfare programs. He expressed an earnest wish that Roman Catholic bishops give more and more attention to spreading this social doctrine.
Pope John XXIII on Aid to Lesser Developed Nations
we are all equally responsible for undernourished people of the world an are bound to care for them (contradiction to Spencer) must help underdeveloped nations.
Pope John XXIII on Ideology
man separate from God becomes inhuman to himself.
Lewis on the Abolition of Man (The Abolition of Man)
Man's final conquest has proved to be the abolition of Man. The more humanity conquers, the more that we conquer over ourselves (a race of birth-controllers is a race whose own birth has been controlled, for example).
Lewis on the Tao (The Abolition of Man)
The Tao is the "reality beyond all predicates" and is Nature or the Way. It is the doctrine of objective value.
Lewis on the Innovators (The Abolition of Man)
The Innovator (in values) will have confirmed the "given" nature of all moral principles and the need to reject either all or nothing of traditional morality. Modern people who admit this are then likely…
Lewis on the Transparent and the Opaque (The Abolition of Man)
The whole point of seeing through something is to see through it. If you go on explaining everything you will have explained explanation itself away. Thus why you should not see through what is…
Lewis on Urban Blockheads (The Abolition of Man)
On criticizing Gaius and Titius for teaching English wrong in the classroom, Lewis has been assuming they aren't aware of what they are doing. He then proposes that maybe they really do wish to cr…
Lewis on the Well-Nurtured Youth (The Abolition of Man)
One who would see most clearly whatever was amiss in ill-made works of man or ill- grown works of nature, and with a just distaste would blame and hate the ugly even from his earl…
Every conquest over nature increases her (nature's) domain.
Lewis on the Conquest of Nature (The Abolition of Man)
Lewis on Men Without Chests (The Abolition of Man)
Lewis claims the teachings of Gaius and Titius that human emotion should be removed from reason is to produce "men without chests," meaning men without hearts. Lewis says we should expect no virtue of such men.
Lewis on Practical Reason (The Abolition of Man)
Confess that judgments such as society ought to be preserved and [judgments] are not mere sentiments but are rationality itself; or else we must give up at once, and for ever, the attempt to …
Lewis on the Magician's Bargain (The Abolition of Man)
You give up your soul and get power in return.
Lewis on "The Good" and "I Want" (The Abolition of Man)
"When all that says 'It is good' has been debunked, what says 'I want' remains. It cannot be exploded or
seen through' because it never had any pretensions. The Conditioners, therefore, must come t…"
…o be motivated simply by their own pleasure.
Level 14