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GVPT241 Lecture 3/25/14The Early-Modern Crisis of Authority- The Tragic in Lear- Scholars refuse to recognize him as a king- Politics is generally a domain of misrecognition- Glosters Blindness: fails to recognize his son after his blindness, and even the inner eye—misrecognized which of his two sons was loyal- Lear misrecognized true piety when he banished people- Lear and Gloster come to these realizations when political order has collapsed and there is violence, most of the principles die and disappear- Crises of Authority: 1. Religiouso Prevailing religious authority found itself in a two fold crisis Set of allegations performed that a person of particular authorities in the church were corrupt (Martin Luther, Samuel de. Champlain, etc.) Internal crises to church doctrine and the authority thatwe should treat it (more general) Series of problems with conflicting authoritieso How can one depend on authorities that are corrupt or contradictory?o Solution to this problem: Simplify a situation by reducing the church authorities to one source of authority—being scripture Start fresh with a single authority that everyone would recognize Instead of simplifying the problem, it multiplied the number of authorities—too many points of view about church doctrine2. Intellectualo Interest of skepticismo Any attempt to justify a belief you have is bound to fail: Problem of the three year old toddler (Infinite Regress) theres no point at which the regress stops Problem of circularity3. Culturalo Combination of well-educated and well-raisedo European political units competing for power project their power outside of borders through colonization, slave trade, missionarieso Languages, habits, customs, and forms of authority were altered because of the colonization4. Politicalo Leaders warring on each other, emperors clashing together, etc.o Rise of a commercial class (merchants, bankers, etc.)o Weakening of structures of power lead to military competition- The European Wars of Religion- All of these crises of authority are known as the role of religion because all can affect it- Conflicts between kings and cities became holy wars- Massive famine- Early Modern little ice-age- Diseases- Political Philosophy for Dark Times- Hobbes new goal was to avoid starvation and violent death-“In such a condition there is no place for industry…no culture of the earth, no account of time, no arts, no letters, no society, and which is worst of all, continual fear and danger of violent death, and the life of man solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.” (Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan,

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UMD GVPT 241 - The Early-Modern Crisis of Authority

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