Recent years have seen a great explosion of interest in women's history, and in the history of the family and patriarchal attitudes - not least in seventeenth-century England. At that time patriarchalist thinking shaped English ideas not only about the family but also about society and the state. Many thinkers argued that the state should be seen as a family, and that the king held the powers of a father over his subjects. Fathers, they claimed, were not accountable to their wives or children, and the king was not accountable to the people. The classic texts of patriarchal political thinking were written by Sir Robert Filmer (1588-1653), one of the most acute defenders of absolute monarchy in the seventeenth century. In addition to presenting his own patriarchalist theory, Filmer's works contain incisive attacks on democratic thinking and on the notion that political obligation stems from a contract between ruler and ruled. His writings include trenchant critiques of the theories of such major figures as Grotius and Hobbes.
His political works are here edited from the original manuscript and printed sources, with an introduction which locates Filmer's ideas in their historical and ideological contexts. These texts - to which John Locke replied in his influential Two Treatises of Government - provide highly important documents for the understanding of political and social ideas at a decisive stage in the development of English attitudes. This new edition, undertaken by a leading young scholar of early modern political thought, contains all the standard features of Cambridge Texts in the History of Political Thought, including an accurate and accessible text, concise introduction, chronology, notes on Filmer's own sources and a brief guide to further reading.
Series: Cambridge Texts in the History of Political Thought
Number Of Pages: 380
Published: 22nd April 1991
Publisher: CAMBRIDGE UNIV PR
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 21.34 x 13.72
Weight (kg): 0.43