filmer patriarcha summary

…theorist, Sir Robert Filmer, whose Patriarcha (1680, though probably written in the 1630s) defended the theory of divine right of kings: the authority of every king is divinely sanctioned by his descent from Adam—according to the Bible, the first king and the father of humanity. 0000001834 00000 n See Filmer baronets. This volume contains the political writings of Sir Robert Filmer (1588-1653), an acute defender of absolute monarchy and perhaps the most important patriarchal political theorist of the seventeenth century. trailer 0000003190 00000 n Law School 0000002695 00000 n

[11], Bentham went on to claim that Filmer had failed to prove divine right theory but he had proved "the physical impossibility of the system of absolute equality and independence, by showing that subjection and not independence is the natural state of man".

His first son Sir Edward was Gentleman of the Privy Chamber.

Filmer's third son, Samuel, married Maria Horsmanden and lived in Virginia Colony[13] before dying childless soon after.

Summary. His writing is clear and concise, but he is also dull. Locke found Filmer's account of political authority unworkable, arguing that it could not be used to justify any actual political authority, since it is impossible to show that any particular ruler is one of Adam's heirs.

The His best known work, “Though Aristotle allows so many several forms of corrupted governments; yet he insists upon no one form of all those that he can define or describe, in such sort, that he is able to say that any one city in all Greece was governed just according to such a form; his diligence is only to make as many forms as the giddy or inconstant humour of a city could happen upon; he freely gives the people liberty to invent as many kinds of government as they please, provided he may have liberty to find fault with every one of them; it proved an easier work for him to find fault with every form, than to tell how to amend any one of them; he found so many imperfections in all sorts of common-weals, that he could not hold from reproving them before ever he tells us what a commonweal is, or how many sorts there are, and to this purpose he spends his whole second book in setting out, and correcting the chief commonweals of Greece, and among others the Lacedemonian, the Cretan and Carthaginian commonweals; which three he esteems to be much alike, and better than any other, yet he spares not to lay open their imperfections, and doth the like to the Athenian; wherein he breaks the rule of method, by delivering the faults of commonweals, before he teach us what a commonweal is; for in his first book, he speaks only of the parts, of which a city, or a commonweal is made, but tells us not what a city or commonweal is, until he come to his third book, and there in handling the sorts of government, he observes no method at all, but in a disorderly way, flies backward and forward from one sort to another: and howsoever there may be observed in him many rules of policy touching government in general, yet without doubt where he comes to discourse of particular forms, he is full of contradiction, or confusion, or both: it is true, he is brief and difficult, the best right a man can do him, is to confess lie understands him not; yet a diligent reader may readily discern so many irregularities and breaches in Aristotle's books of Politics, as tend to such distraction or confusion, that none of our new politicians can make advantage of his principles, for the confirmation of an original power by nature in the people, which is the only theme now in fashion: for Aristotle's discourse is of such commonweals as were founded by particular persons, as the Chalcedonian by Phaleas, the Milesian by Hippodamas, the Lacedemonian by Lycurgus, the Cretan by Minos, the Athenian by Solon, and the like: but the natural right of the people to found, or elect; their kind of government is not once disputed by him: it seems the underived majesty of the people, was such a metaphysical piece of speculation as our grand philosopher was not acquainted with; he speaks very contemptuously of the multitude in several places, he affirms that the people are base or wicked judges in their own cases, ‘οι πλειστοι φαυλοι κριται περι των οικειων and that many of them differ nothing from beasts; τι διαφερουσιν ενιοι των θηριων; and again he saith, the common people or freemen are such as are neither rich, nor in reputation for virtue; and it is not safe to commit to them great governments; for, by reason of their injustice and unskilfulness, they would do much injustice, and commit many errors and it is pleasanter to the multitude to live disorderly, than soberly, ‘ηδιον γαρ τοις πολλοις το ζην ατακτως η το σωφρονως.”, (Cambridge Texts in the History of Political Thought), Cambridge Texts in the History of Political Thought, "...if _______ is not the book version of everything horrible and unjust that the patriarchy stands for, I do not know what is. In the beginning God gave authority to Adam, who had complete control over his descendants, even over life and death itself. Filmer died on or about 26 May 1653. Of the Blasphemie against the Holy Ghost, from 1646 or 1647, argued against Calvinists, starting from John Calvin's doctrine on blasphemy. Filmer's patriarchal monarchism was also the target of Algernon Sidney in his Discourses Concerning Government and of James Tyrrell in his Patriarcha non-monarcha. during the Exclusion Crisis of 1679-1680. From the beginning of his political career, Filmer was an advocate of the Stuart kings against an increasingly self- 0000011082 00000 n He became a Justice of the Peace and an officer of the county militia in the 1630s.

These included The Patriarcha is now largely remembered because

on Government (drafted 1681-1682 and published 1689). 249 22

The First Treatise is a criticism of Robert Filmer’s Patriarcha, which argues in support of the divine right of kings.According to Locke, Filmer cannot be correct because his theory holds that every man is born a slave to the natural born kings. Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. weakness of the parallels drawn between families and states. Sir Robert Filmer (c. 1588 – 26 May 1653) was an English political theorist who defended the divine right of kings. Patriarcha may be viewed in the St. George Rare Book Room at the Wolf Law Library, College of William & Mary School of Law. Such ideas seemed to Charles I and later Stuart monarchs to provide a Filmer attacks what he sees as the two enemies of Royal power, the Jesuits and the Calvinists, and states two royalist principles: divine right and the duty of passive obedience.He tries to show that the king's power is derived from the natural authority of parents, and that Adam was the first king. 0000002155 00000 n 0000004760 00000 n

The pamphlet entitled The Power of Kings, and in particular, of the King of England (written 1648) was first published in 1680.

0000000016 00000 n [7] The Freeholders Grand Inquest (1648) concerned English constitutional history. xlvi, no.

0000000750 00000 n Another was The Anarchy of a Limited or Athenians, he claimed, never knew real justice, only the will of the mob. of Charles I and thus came to be knighted.

Freeholder’s Grand Inquest (1679) which argued that Parliament only derived his argument from the premise that Adam was the first earthly Here Filmer is most likely to be quoting the legend of Noah sailing up the Mediterranean and allocating the three continents of the Old World to the rule of his three sons. 0000001645 00000 n The recent explosion of interest in women's history and the history of the family has greatly enhanced the audience for Filmer's work, and in this new edition Johann Sommerville provides accurate and accessible texts of his principal writings, accompanied by all the standard series features, including a concise introduction, chronology, guide to further reading and notes on Filmer's own text. His best known work, Patriarcha, published posthumously in 1680, was the target of numerous Whig attempts at rebuttal, including Algernon Sidney's Discourses Concerning Government, James Tyrrell's Patriarcha Non Monarcha and John Locke's Two Treatises of Government.

Under the authority of the father, and his assistant and prime-minister the mother, every human creature is enured to subjection, is trained up into a habit of subjection. by Cambridge University Press, Patriarcha and Other Writings (Cambridge Texts in the History of Political Thought). Filmer's eldest son Sir Edward was active in opposing the Long Parliament and Filmer stood surety for £5000 for the release of his friend Sir Roger Twysden, who had been imprisoned for his part in the Kentish petition.

Filmer died in 1653 His claim to fame is being the subject of John Locke's brilliant refutation, which is the reason I read this. But, the habit once formed, nothing is easier than to transfer it from one object to another. By the next year his properties in Westminster and Kent were being heavily taxed to fund the Parliamentary cause. He was called to the bar in 1613, but there is no evidence he practised law. His writings provide examples of the doctrines held by the extreme section of the Divine Right party. The difficulty inherent in judging the validity of claims to power by men who claim to be acting upon the "secret" will of God was disregarded by Filmer, who held that it altered in no way the nature of such power, based on the natural right of a supreme father to hold sway. 0000004261 00000 n x�b```b``��������A�X��, P�]��Ml�؟������of���}>�����+g�,��d����5&���'�5\�2ӝm�5�G>����]J���6�ВS&[f�':. In every class I've ever taken where the history of political thought was a point of discussion, from my seventh-grade American history class to the Shakespeare seminar I took last spring, the divine right of kings gets a very quick run through, presented as little more than an arcane and childlike superstition that was swiftly and easily cleared away once Hobbes and Locke wiped the dogmatic crust off of their eyes and articulated the contract theory which forms the very foundation of liberalism. He died in 1668 and the East Sutton estate passed to his brother Robert who was created a baronet in 1674 in honour of their father's loyalty to the Crown.

Perhaps, though, that won't be true for much longer. Filmer's political tracts, which were published between 1648 and 1653, It is the source for the famous quotation from Hobbes, asserting that people "as mushrooms... sprung out of the earth without any obligation one to another."

Filmer's theory is founded upon the statement that the government of a family by the father is the true origin and model of all government. His son, also Robert, was created the first of the Filmer baronets in 1674. Patriarcha or, The Natural In an unpublished manuscript, Jeremy Bentham wrote: Filmer's origin of government is exemplified everywhere: Locke's scheme of government has not ever, to the knowledge of any body, been exemplified any where. As for the English constitution, he asserted in his Freeholders Grand Inquest touching our Sovereign Lord the King and his Parliament (1648) that the Lords give counsel only to the king, that the Commons are to perform and consent only to the ordinances of Parliament, and that the king alone is the maker of laws, which derive their power purely from his will.

were re-published by Tories who believed in the divine right of kings Announcing our NEW encyclopedia for Kids! While he was too old to 270 0 obj <>stream Filmer is famous for being "Locke's Straw Man," and with a certain amount of justification. Sometimes ideas even more ridiculous. 0000001150 00000 n

It's not an atrocious work, it's simply laughable.

If you like books and love to build cool products, we may be looking for you. Contact Us All Rights Reserved ©, Consumer Information (ABA Req'd Disclosures). His best known work, Patriarcha, published posthumously in 1680, was the target of numerous Whig attempts at rebuttal, including Algernon Sidney's Discourses Concerning Government, James Tyrrell's Patriarcha Non Monarcha and John Locke's Two Treatises of Government. He bought the porter's lodge at Westminster Abbey for use as his town house. Welcome back.

Williamsburg, VA whatever kind, would make a nonsense of the king’s authority, an

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