3. Natural Law Roots of the Social Contract Tradition

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Moral Foundations of Politics (PLSC 118)

Before exploring the three Enlightenment traditions in particular, Professor Shapiro examines the Enlightenment holistically, using John Locke as the foundation for the discussion. The first tenet of the Enlightenment is a commitment to science as a way of ordering politics, and Professor Shapiro introduces the Cartesian philosophy of science and segues into an elucidation of the workmanship ideal, a central feature of Enlightenment thinking. Corollary to the workmanship ideal, the second tenet of the Enlightenment is the equality of men, ergo an emphasis on individual rights. Does this latter tenet give the basis for the resistance of authority? Throughout the lecture, Professor Shapiro uses a number of primary sources to depict the foundations of Enlightenment thought. Although Locke's thinking is deeply rooted in theology, these topics will reemerge time and time again in different contexts during the course of the semester.

00:00 - Chapter 1. Enlightenment
05:33 - Chapter 2. The Early Enlightenment: John Locke (1632 -- 1704)
29:25 - Chapter 3. Doctrine of Individual Rights

Complete course materials are available at the Open Yale Courses website: http://open.yale.edu/courses

This course was recorded in Spring 2010.