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  1. Week 1: Introduction - Authors and authority: the purposes of scholarship 15 items
    Authorship and the production of the printed text were central processes to the emergence of modern Europe. They were the principal means by which the ideas and inspiration of the Renaissance re-connected sixteenth and seventeenth-century people with the politics, science, literature and philosophy of the classical world. Similar technologies and the same cultural practices-writing, publishing, reading, and discussing and debating what had been read- also underlay the achievements of the Reformation and Counter-Reformation, which without the creation, circulation and consumption of book would have been inconceivable. The simple printed word, and the laborious efforts which often stood behind it, therefor had an importance unimaginable in our own multi-media world. We will consider the moral and educative purposes which authorship was once presumed to serve, and the status of authors, scholars and intellectuals in Europe witin a culture suffused by humanist values.
    1. The foundations of modern political thought - Quentin Skinner 1978

      Book  Both volumes for an overall background but see esp. Preface for methodology

    2. The Impact of humanism on Western Europe - Anthony Goodman, Angus MacKay 1990


    3. The Fontana history of the human sciences - Roger Smith 1997

      Book  See esp. ch. 2

    4. The Transmission of culture in early modern Europe - Grafton, Anthony, Blair, Ann 1990


    5. Joseph Scaliger: a bibliography 1852-1982 - Grafton, A. T., Jonge, H. J. de 1982

      Book  Note: we will not be looking at Scaliger as such, but this bibliography is the oustanding study of the career and activities of an early modern scholar.

  2. Week 2: Secular Politics: abdolutism, realism and cynicism 14 items
    One of the great achievements of the Renaissance- and for may historians a defining moment in the emergence of a truly "modern" world - was the assertion of a secular vision of human society and human government. Integral to this development was the emergence of increasingly problematical and controversial theories of politics which sought to teach contemporaries about practical realities rather than abstract ideas: the Florentine statesman Niccolo Machiavelli remains the most infamous exponent of this pragmatic form of political science. A further consequence was the attempt by philosphers and commentators to account for recent developments in Europe, including the emergence of nation states governed by powerful, centralised monarchies: Jean Bodin, the great French lawyer and student of government, offered one of the most persuasive and influential of such theories, though one which was to become notorious as the classic exposition (and, many critics believed, justification) of absolutism.
    1. Set Texts 1 item
      Note about set texts and class reader: Some of the set texts will be explored by you for essays or for your presentations to the seminar. There is a class reader containing photocopies of key passages from these texts, available for a small sum from the Departmental Office. When you have a copy you will want to bring it along to every class as the extracts will form the bases of discussion and there will be many opportunities to annotate the reader. However, you should be aware that (not least on economical and ecological grounds) the set-text reader is extremely selective , intended to stimulate some ideas rather than to summarise the full contents of each work. You should therefore be prepared to read other passages, if not the complete text, wherever practicable: this is especially true where you are contemplating essays, presentations, or examination answers on a particular work or subject. An acceptable essay on Machiavelli's political thought, for example, cannot be based entirely upon the few ( and inevitably unrepresentive) pages of 'The Prince' reproduced in the reader.
      1. The Prince - Machiavelli, Niccolò, Skinner, Quentin, Price, Russell 1988

        Book  There are seven other versions/editions of this book available in the library. This is the most recent English version.

    2. Other texts 13 items
      1. Constitutionalism and resistance in the sixteenth century: three treatises - Franklin, Julian H., Hotman, Franȯis, Bz̈e, Thǒdore de, Languet, Hubert 1969


      2. Machiavelli and republicanism - Gisela Bock, Quentin Skinner, Maurizio Viroli 1990


  3. Week 3: Religious visions: ecclesiology, political theology and the Millennium 11 items
    From one end of Europe to another, from presbyterian Scotland to Tridentine Itlay, the Reformation and the reactions to it involved an explosion of religious creativity. This process strongly influenced people's views of history and politics, leading many to seek to re-model government and society along radically different lines. Jean Calvin, whose theological ideas inspired a major Protestant movement , offered the most distinctive vision of a new human order which the citizens of Geneva actually tried to turn into reality. Many othrs believed that the millenial reign of King Jesus was imminent, that the apocalyptic end of the world was nigh, contributing greatly to the revolutionary mood and political tensions which shaped later sixteenth and early seventeenth-century Europe.
    1. Set Texts 2 items
      1. Institutes of the Christian religion - John Calvin, trans. Ford Lewis Battles 1986

        Book  Read: Book IV, cap. 20, sections 22-32.

      2. A plaine discovery of the whole Revelation of Saint Iohn: set downe in two treatises: the one searching and proving the true interpretation thereof: the other applying the same paraphrastically and historically to the text - Napier, John, Arbuthnot, A., Waldegrave, Robert, Aird, Bathjah 1593

        Book  'To the Godly and Christian Reader' - note - there are three other versions of this book

    2. Other texts 9 items
      1. Calvin and Calvinism: sources of democracy? - Robert McCune Kingdon, Robert Dean Linder 1970


      2. The Apocalypse in English Renaissance thought and literature - Wittreich, Joseph Anthony, Patrides, C. A. 1984


      3. Scots and Britons: Scottish political thought and the union of 1603 - Mason, Roger A. 1994

        Book  Read: Chapter by A.H. Williamson, 'Number and National Consciousness'

  4. Week 4: Education: Aristotelian scholasticism and Renaissance humanism 12 items
    Education was central to the intellectual controversies as well as to the social development of early Europeans. The growing numbers of the educated, especially among the elite and middle ranks, inevitably made control of the schools and universites increasingly important. Meanwhile, the humanistic legacy of the Renaissance, added to the missionary and propagandist imperatives of all the parties in the aftermath of the Reformation, made effective education systems of paramount socal conern. Curricular disputes, however, merely intensified. Recent research has shown how old stereotypes misrepresent the period. Strictly humanist models did not easily overtake medieval scholasticism as the basis of the curriculum, and Aristotle probably remained as central to the Protestant teaching as he had once been to the orthodox pre-Reformation "schoolmen". In short, a broadly scholastic curriculum and a common philosophical mind-set, as well as a deep commitment to Latinate culture, continued to unite educated Europeans until late in the seventeenth century.
    1. Set Texts 0 items
      Petrus Ramus, 'That There is But One Method of Establishing a Science' and Juan Luis Vives, 'Against the Pseudo-Logicians' - the class reader has extracts from both of these.
    2. Other texts 12 items
      1. The Cambridge history of political thought, 1450-1700 - Burns, J. H., Goldie, Mark 1991

        Book  Read: J.H. Burns, 'Scholasticism: Survival and Revival'

      2. The Cambridge history of later medieval philosophy: from the rediscovery of Aristotle to the disintegration of scholasticism 1100-1600 - Kretzmann, Norman, Kenny, Anthony John Patrick, Pinborg, Jan, Stump, Eleonore 1982

        Book  Read: John Trentman, 'Scholasticism in the Seventeenth Century'

      3. Aristotle and the Renaissance - Schmitt, Charles B. 1983


      4. Greek Roman and Byzantine studies 1959-2009

        Journal  Read: P.O.'Renaissance Aristotelianism' 1965 Volume 6

      5. Education in Renaissance England - Kenneth Charlton 1965


      6. The Logic and Rhetoric of Peter Ramus - Duhamel,Pierre Albert 1949


      7. The Mental world of the Jacobean court - Linda Levy Peck 1991

        Book  Read: Chapter: Linda Levy Peck, 'The Mentality of a Jacobean Grandee'

  5. Week 5: Classical texts: the sceptics, the mystics and the poets 17 items
    Humanism continued to inspire the veneration of different kinds of classical literature, an enthusiasm which regularly produced new intellectual crazes among early modern Europeans and sometimes was the source of a discernable shift in philosophical perspective. A few of these innovations, closely related to the intensive study of ancient texts, were to be of lasting significance: Montaigne's scepticism, a profoundly modern archtype with its constant questioning of orthodoxy and assertive individualism, had its roots in the re-discovery and popularisation of specific kinds of Greek thought. Other classical works, accorded immense authority at the time but subsequently to lose all credibility, provoked much dabbling in the occult, in Hermeticism and the pursuit of magic. Meanwhile, the encounter with the less familiar corners of the classical heritage also inspired a new and increasingly sympathetic and competent engagement with the culture and civilization of the Arab world.
    1. Set Texts 0 items
      The following are set texts which are in the class reader: 1) Michel de Montaigne, 'Essays' - 'On Books' (extract); 'Apology for Raymond Sebond' (extract) 2) Cornelius Agrrippa, 'De Occulta Philosophia', Book 1, cap. 22 (extract) 3) Giovanni Pico della Mirandola, 'Heptaphus' cap. 7 (extract) 4) Giovanni Pico della Mirandola, 'Conclusiones' XXVI 5) Paracelsus, 'De natura rerum', Bks I and VII (extracts)
    2. Other texts 17 items
      1. The political philosophy of Montaigne - David Lewis Schaefer 1990


      2. Renaissance essays: From the Journal of the history of ideas - Kristeller, Paul Oskar, Wiener, Philip Paul [1968]

        Book  Read: Chapter by W.J. Bouwsma, 'Postel and the Significance of Renaissance Cabalism'

      3. Islam in Britain - N. I. Matar 1998


  6. Week 6: Neo-Stoicism: republicanism; public and private life 21 items
    One body of ideas inspired by the re-discovery of key classical texts deserves special focus. Currently receiving sustained scholary attention for the first time, and a philosphical movement of the greatest importance which affected societies as different as Jacobean England and Rudolphine Bohemia, neo-Stoicism had its roots in Roman moral commentary, as recovered and interpreted by Europeans who were themselves reeling from the destabilising effects of the Reformation and the religious and political upheavals of the late sixteenth century. Becuase it dealt in crucial ethical questions touching on political conduct and on private life, and appeared to offer authoritative guidance consistent both with classical and with Christian tradition, it exercised a powerful hold over statemen, scholars, poets and the educated during an age of civil war, rebellion and revolution.
    1. Set Texts 2 items
      Read: Justus Lipsius, 'Six Bookes of Politics' Bk III, caps 1-3; Bk IV, caps 3 and 4 - in class reader
      1. Tvvo bookes of constancie - Justus Lipsius, John Stradling 1594

        Book  Read: Book I, caps 1-6; Also in class reader

    2. Other texts 19 items
      1. Neostoicism and the early modern state - Oestreich, Gerhard, Oestreich, Brigitta, Koenigsberger, H. G. 2008

        Book  1982 edition also available in the library.

      2. The Seventeenth century - University of Durham (Centre for Seventeenth-Century Studies) 2001

        Journal  Read: David Allan, '"An Ancient Sage Philospher": Alexander Ross and the Defence of Philosophy' (2001) Vol 15-16

      3. English studies: a journal of English language and literature 1996

        Journal  Read: A.A. Bonham, 'Have you read Lipsius?: Thomas Middleton and Stoicism' 1996

      4. Joseph Hall and Neo-Stoicism - Chew,Audrey 1950


      5. Bishop Hall, "Our English Seneca" - Smith,Philip A. 1948


      6. The Mental world of the Jacobean court - Levy Peck, Linda 1991

        Book  Read: Chapter by J.H.M. Salmon, 'Cicero and Tacitus in Jacobean England'

  7. Week 7: Reading Week 0 items
  8. Week 8: Law: civil jurisprudence; the laws of nature and nations 19 items
    Another body of ideas which had far-reaching significance drew on the interest of historians, philosophers and lawyers, initally in France, in the ancient Roman civil law (whose practical influence was still felt in many contemporary European legal systems) and in the philosophical tenets which underpinned and explained it. This inquiry led scholars to investigate the basis of legal and moral codes, which, following Roman inspiration, they found in the natural order of Creation as prescribed by God. Once the existence of political theory were strongly influenced by it, in ways we shall examine in subsequent seminars. Other consequences of the first importance included the development by the Dutch jurist Hugo Grotius of a credible systm of international law, and the systematisation and rationalisation of national legal codes (well seen in Stair's celebrated endeavours on behalf of Scots law).
    1. Set Texts 2 items
      Key passages from these texts will be in the class reader.
      1. The rights of war and peace - Grotius, Hugo, Tuck, Richard, Barbeyrac, Jean 2005

        Book  Read: Bk I, cap. 1; Bk III, cap. 1, sects 1-5

    2. Other texts 17 items
      1. Natural law and the theory of society 1500-1800 - Otto Friedrich Von Gierke, Ernest Barker (trans.) 1934


      2. Hugo Grotius - Gellinek, Christian 1982


      3. Hugo Grotius and international relations - Hedley Bull, Benedict Kingsbury, Adam Roberts 1990


      4. Hugo Grotius on Ethics and War - Forde,Steven 1998


      5. Early Modern Natural Law Theories and Their Contexts - Hochstrasser,T. J. 1995

        Journal  RA: Buckle, Steven; RA: Gordley, James

  9. Week 9: Natural Philodophy: methods and achievements 16 items
    The rise of natural philosophy (or "science" as we now call it) has been widely regarded as the distinguishing dynamic of modern Western thought. This triuphalism, which until very recently supported wide public confidence in the civilising and authoritative nature of scientific knowledge, and which long encouraged other scholars to develop their own disciplines in its prestigious image, rested not least on the superiority usually granted to the methods by which science progresses. Francis Bacon, the English philosopher and statesman, was the most celebrated proponent of the inductive, empirical and experimental approaches which natural philosophy supposedly embodied in its quest for truth. Sir Isaac Newton, in the later seventeenth century, showed how far such Baconian methods could lead the modern scientist, securing him unrivalled prestige and iconic status in the coming Enlightenment. Nevertheless, as the scriptural obsessions of Newton show, and the neo-Stoic debts of contemporary natural philosophy further underline, science at this time still looked rather different from its later counterpart.
    1. Set Texts 2 items
      Key passages from these texts will be in the class reader.
      1. Francisci Baronis de Verulamio Novum Organum scientiarum sive indicia vera de interpretatione naturae - Francis Bacon, James Glassford (trans.) 1844

        Book  Read: Bk II, Aphorisms 1-19, 100-106

    2. Other texts 14 items
      1. The Cambridge companion to Bacon - Peltonen, Markku 1996


      2. Francis Bacon - Brian Vickers 1996


      3. Atoms, pneuma and tranquility: Epicurean and Stoic themes in European thought - Osler, Margaret J. 1991

        Book  Read: Chapter by P. Barker, 'Stoic Contributions to Early Modern Science'

      4. Centaurus: international magazine of the history of science and medicine 1950-2003

        Journal  Read: P. Barker and B.R. Goldstein, 'Is Seventeenth-Century Physics Indebted to the Stoics?' 1984, Vol. 27

      5. Isaac Newton and astrology - Cowling, Thomas George 1977


  10. Week 10: The power ot reason 8 items
    Frequently discussed in classical antiquity and alternatively admired and suspected by Christian theologians, the distinguishing characteristic of human beings was held to be the possession of a rational faculty. The early modern period saw not just vigorous attempts to assign a pre-eminent role to the exercise of reason (in natural philosophy, in political thought and in theology) but concerted efforts by philosophers to identify and explore its precise nature and limitations. The culmination of these efforts was the work of Rene Descartes, whose inspiring response to scepticism formed the basis of seventeenth - and eighteenth-century scientific rationalism.
    1. Set Texts 1 item
      Key passages from these texts will be in the class reader.
      1. Discourse on method and related writings - Rene Descartes, Desmond Clarke (trans.) 1999

        Book  Read: Parts II and IV

    2. Other texts 7 items
      1. Descartes against the skeptics - Edwin M. Curley 1978


      2. The Cambridge companion to Descartes - John Cottingham 1992

        Book  Electronic book.

      3. Descartes - Cottingham, John 1998


  11. Week 11: Conjectural history: the origins and nature of political society 22 items
    The jurists' interest in fundemental natural law and the philosophers' attempts to identify the essential features of the human mind climaxed in the second half of the seventeenth century in the conjectural history of early political society developed by Thomas Hobbes and John Locke. Hobbes's famous work, pitched into the bitter controversies of the English Republic, offered not only a disturbing justification for total obedience to sovereign authority but also a worryingly pragmatic view of both human motivation and religious allegiance. Locke's more obviously liberal conclusion, which was reached just as parliamentary monarchy was emerging in Engand and Britain, was that governments arose out of a contract between governors and govered, which the former needed to fulfil. Both studies, along with the extraordinary progressive values expounded by the exiled French scholar Pierre Bayle, pointed the way forward to the eighteenth-century Enlightenment and the development of the modern social sciences.
    1. Set Texts 3 items
      Key passages from these texts will be in the class reader.
      1. Leviathan - Hobbes, Thomas, Lindsay, Alexander Dunlop 1914

        Book  Read: Ch. 13; ch. 30 (first ten paras); ch. 42 (extract); ch. 47 (extract)

      2. Two Treatises of Government by John Locke - John Locke 1764

        Book  Read: Second Treatise, chs. II and VIII

      3. Historical and critical dictionary: selections - Bayle, Pierre, Popkin, Richard H. 1965

        Book  Read: 'Philosophy and Religion'; 'Scepticism' (extract)

    2. Other texts 19 items
      1. The Cambridge companion to Hobbes - Tom Sorell 1996

        Book  Electronic book.

      2. John Locke - Geraint Parry 1978


      3. Atheism from the Reformation to the Enlightenment - Michael Cyril William Hunter, David Wootton 1992


      4. Pierre Bayle and Voltaire - H. T. Mason 1963


  12. Week 12: Revision 0 items
  13. References 5 items
    Check the class reader for the following references: 1) Lipsius, J., 'Six Bookes of Politics; 2) Mirandola, G.P. d. 'Heptaphus'; 3) Paracelsus, 'De natura rerum'; 4) Ramus, P., 'That there is but one method of establishing a science'; 5) Vives, J.L., 'Against the pseudo-logicians
    1. De occulta philosophia libri tres - Agrippa von Nettesheim, Heinrich Cornelius, Compagni, V. Perrone 1992

      Book  May be part of the class reader

    2. Six books of the commonwealth - Bodin, Jean 1955

      Book  May be part of the class reader

    3. Syncretism in the West: Pico's 900 theses (1486) : the evolution of traditional, religious, and philosophical systems : with text, translation, and commentary - Farmer, Stephen Alan, Pico della Mirandola, Giovanni 1998

      Book  Shorter title of this book is "Conclusiones". May be part of the class reader

    4. Essays - Montaigne, Michel de, Waller, A. R., Florio, John 1946

      Book  May be part of the class reader

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