Absolutism in 17th Cent & 18th Cent
Examines evolution, impact & decline of moral, philosophical & legal doctrine using natural law to justify monarchy.
Absolutism in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries was a political theory suited to the absolutist monarchies which had been coming into existence since the Reformation. As a theory, perhaps best personified in the work of Hobbes, absolutism justifies the absolute and organic rule of all aspects of society through a monarchy. It is a doctrine of the absolute right of the ruler; in other words, the affirmation that the ruler is not bound by any kind of moral or legal limitation. Instead, the philosophy of absolutism rested heavily upon conceptions of natural law–an interpretation of right and wrong based on a belief in the absolute Truths inherent in nature. One of these absolute Truths of natural law would later become known as the divine right of kings, a belief that the monarchy is the natural order of society and thus stands above all human..
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