Patriarcha

Patriarcha, or The Natural Power of Kings is a 1680 book by the English philosopher Robert Filmer, defending the divine right of kings on the basis that all modern states' authority derived from the Biblical patriarchs (who he saw as Adam's heirs), history and logic. Concurrently, he criticized rival theories claiming the basis of a state should be the consent of the governed or social contract.[1]

Patriarcha, or The Natural Power of Kings
Patriarcha; or the Natural Power of Kings.jpg
AuthorRobert Filmer
LanguageEnglish
SubjectDivine right of kings
Published1680
Media typePrint
ISBN978-1409952374

ReceptionEdit

John Locke and others attacked what they saw as the absurdity of Filmer's views.[2] The first of Locke's Two Treatises of Government consists mainly of criticism of Filmer. 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.[3]

Patriarcha remains Filmer's best known work. R. S. Downie considers Filmer's attacks on contract and consent as explanations of political obligation to be plausible, and finds it unfortunate that Filmer's belief in Adam's kingship has obscured them.[2]

ReferencesEdit

BibliographyEdit

Books
  • Downie, R. S. (2005). Honderich, Ted (ed.). The Oxford Companion to Philosophy. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-926479-1.
  • Woolhouse, Roger (2005). Honderich, Ted (ed.). The Oxford Companion to Philosophy. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-926479-1.