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Nineteenth Century Political Philosophy. The development of Romanticism. Political Liberalism. Associated with England and Low Countries Protestant Appreciates Work ethic Commerce and Industry Tolerant Wars over religion are just silly Respect for Rights of Property Individualistic

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Nineteenth Century Political Philosophy

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Nineteenth century political philosophy l.jpg

Nineteenth Century Political Philosophy

The development of Romanticism


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Political Liberalism

  • Associated with England and Low Countries

  • Protestant

    • Appreciates Work ethic

    • Commerce and Industry

  • Tolerant

    • Wars over religion are just silly

  • Respect for Rights of Property

  • Individualistic

    • Social mobility possible

  • Role of education to improve one’s lot in life

  • Based on Reason and Rational thought

  • John Locke, George Berkeley, David Hume


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RomanticismPassion over Calculation

  • Anti-thesis of Rational Liberalism

  • Anti-Industrial, Commercial

  • Medieval Nostalgia

    • Chivalry and Heroism stressed

  • Individualism reinterpreted

    • Passions rather than Intellect

      • Admire all strong passions

        • Even negative violent ones

    • Cult of the Hero

  • Nationalism encouraged

    • Rebellions justifiable

  • War justifiable in defence of ‘Liberty’

  • Byron, Rousseau, Kant, Fichte, Nietzsche

  • Identified with Germany


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Romanticism

Rousseau

Kant

Nationalism

Schopenhauer

Hegel

Nietzsche


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Jean Jacques Rousseau 1712 – 1778“Man is born free and everywhere he is in chains”

  • Father of Romantic Movement

    • Noble Savage

  • Opponent of Progress and Industrialisation

    • Makes government powerful

    • Crushes individuals

    • Material benefits no match for human friendship/emotions

  • Politics and morality cannot be separated

  • Learn by experience

  • Social Contract

    • Bible of French Revolution


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Rousseau’s Social Contract

  • Justifies totalitarianism

    • Democracy best in small states

    • Aristocracy best in medium states

    • Monarchy best in large states

  • Big fan of City States

    • Sparta over Athens

    • The General Will of the people is easily recognisable

  • Equality over liberty

    • Each of us puts his person under the supreme direction of the general will

    • The general will is always right

    • Every man governed by self interest

      • Self-interest good for the individual

      • Self-interest is also good for the community

  • Lack of respect for private property

    • The State is master of all their goods


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Immanuel Kant1724 - 1804

  • German Idealist

    • Romanticist

    • Building block for Hegel

  • Pedantic University Professor

  • Believed in Democracy

  • Supported French Revolution up to Terror

  • Advocated Federation of free states who outlaw war – as war is utterly irrational

  • Prussian – but not a nationalist

    • Often argued with authorities over some of his more liberal ideas


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Immanuel Kant’s Ideas

  • Critique of knowledge as a means of reaching philosophical conclusions

    • Mind more important than matter

  • “There can be nothing more dreadful than that the actions of a man should be subject to the will of another”

    • Rights of Man ideals

    • Moral worth exists only when a man acts from a sense of duty

  • Two imperatives driving the will of humans

    • Hypothetical Imperative

      • You must do so and so if you wish to achieve such and such

    • Categorical Imperative

      • Act as if the maxim of your action were to become a general natural law

        • Ie – if it were applied by everybody would it work

          • Eg it is wrong to borrow money because if we all did, there would be no money to borrow


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Georg Hegel1770 - 1831

  • Prussian University Professor

  • Protestant

  • 1806 Jena

  • Nothing is completely real except the whole (like a complex organism)

    • Called ‘The Absolute’

    • Mr A is an uncle

      • Uncle means nothing without a Nephew

    • The Universe cannot be spherical

      • Spheres have a boundary

      • A boundary only exists when something lies outside the boundary

  • There is no freedom without law

    • In fact, freedom is the right to obey law

  • ‘Spirit’ is the essential historical force


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Hegel’s Spirit

  • Historical development of spirit

    • Oriental (despotism)

      • One is free

    • Greeks & Romans (Aristocracy)

      • Some are free

    • German (Monarchy – NOT Democracy)

      • All are free

        • The monarch embodies the will of all

  • ‘The State is the idea of Spirit in the external manifestation of human Will and its freedom’

  • “The German Spirit is the spirit of the new world”

    • Rewrites German History

      • Not barbarians but the true spirit of man fighting the effete Romans

      • Protestant and United Prussia praised over Catholic and disunited Austrians


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Nations and Individuals in Hegel’s World

  • Nations

    • Nations are the principle of historical development

    • A particular nation shows the true spirit

      • Germany

  • Individuals

    • A few world historically important individuals who embody true spirit

      • Alexander, Caesar, Napoleon

        • War allows for the spirit to be purely represented


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Artur Schopenhauer1788 - 1860

  • Danzig, Prussia

  • Dark, philosophical pessimist

  • Influenced by Plato, Kant, The Vedas, Goethe

    • Ascetic Mystic combined with Hellenism

  • The World as Will and Idea 1818

  • Emphasizes the role of ‘Will’

    • The Primacy of the Will

    • As the creative but irrational force of human nature

      • Ethically evil (Pessimistic)

    • Only Art can withstand the role of Will

  • Personally dislikes Hegel despite some philosophical similarities

  • Influences Nietzche


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Friedrich Nietszche1844 - 1900

  • Saxony

  • Son of Lutheran Pastor

  • University of Basel

  • 1870 Franco Prussian War

    • Medical orderly

    • Retires in ill health

  • Ill health plagues Nietszche for rest of life

    • Insane 1888 - 1900


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Friedrich Nietzsche’s Ideas

  • Admires strength of will above all else

    • Spartan ideals

  • Life is hard – the difficulties of life allows us to appreciate the best parts of life

    • Suffering amplifies the pleasure

  • Believes in Heroes (individuals over the State)

    • UberMensch – Superman

      • Masses can suffer to produce a great man

      • Napoleon

  • Anti-Democratic & Anti-Liberal

    • All are not equal

    • Democracy leads to mediocrity

    • Believes in the superiority of the Aristocrat

  • Not a Nationalist

    • Wants an international super-aristocracy to guide humanity

  • Anti-Christian

    • Dislikes submission to a Higher Order

    • Prefers old testament to new testament

    • Not anti-semitic


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