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  1. John Kilcullen, Palestine: Another Approach.
    The long war between Israel and the Palestinians is not the root cause of all conflicts between Islam and the West, but it exacerbates every such conflict. From Northern Europe through North Africa, the Middle East, Pakistan, Malaysia, Thailand, the Philippines, Indonesia, and down to Australia, there are violent opponents of “the West” motivated, in part, by indignation at the..
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  2. Arthur Stephen McGrade, John Kilcullen & Matthew Kempshall (eds.) (2012). The Cambridge Translations of Medieval Philosophical Texts: Volume 2, Ethics and Political Philosophy. Cambridge University Press.
    The eagerly-awaited second volume of The Cambridge Translations of Medieval Philosophical Texts will allow scholars and students access for the first time in English to major texts in ethics and political thought from one of the most fruitful periods of speculation and analysis in the history of western thought. Beginning with Albert the Great, who introduced the Latin west to the challenging moral philosophy and natural science of Aristotle, and concluding with the first substantial presentation in English of the revolutionary (...)
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  3.  79
    John Kilcullen, The Origin of Property: Ockham, Grotius, Pufendorf, and Some Others.
    A passage on the origin of property in Grotius, De iure praedae , pp. 226-230 [Note 1] seems to contain echoes of the controversy between pope John XXII and William of Ockham on Franciscan poverty. Grotius's note (b) on p. 227 refers to the decretals..
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  4. John Kilcullen, Max Weber: On Bureaucracy.
    First, something about the word. 'Bureau' (French, borrowed into German) is a desk, or by extension an office (as in 'I will be at the office tomorrow'; 'I work at the Bureau of Statistics'). 'Bureaucracy' is rule conducted from a desk or office, i.e. by the preparation and dispatch of written documents - or, these days, their electronic equivalent. In the office are kept records of communications sent and received, the files or archives, consulted in preparing new ones. This kind (...)
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  5.  81
    John Kilcullen, Marx on Capitalism.
    A society is capitalist if most production is carried on by employees working with means of production (equipment and materials) belonging to their employer, producing commodities which belong to the employer. (Employees: those whose services are treated as commodities. 'Labour is a commodity like any other', 'an article of trade' - Edmund Burke, Thoughts on Scarcity , 1795.).
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  6.  34
    John Kilcullen (1983). Utilitarianism and Virtue. Ethics 93 (3):451-466.
    A line of thought suggested by certain passages in Mill's writings runs as follows. [Note 1] Virtue should be regarded as an end in itself outranking even happiness, because virtue so regarded guarantees certain modes of feeling and conduct, and the benefits resulting from this guarantee make up for what is lost in the odd cases in which virtue and happiness conflict. Notice that benefits result from the guarantee, not only from the conduct guaranteed. In this paper I will explore (...)
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  7.  50
    John Kilcullen, Locke on Political Obligation.
    Much has been written about Locke 's Second Treatise,[Note 1] but still, I believe, the book's main line of argument has been left unclear. Some concepts need more prominence---the duty to preserve mankind, the right of war, and private judgment; others need less---consent, majority rule, and property. Locke 's aim was not to show that political obligation rests upon consent: that is assumed without argument.[Note 2] What he set out to prove is that there are certain limits to political obligation (...)
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  8.  66
    John Kilcullen, John Rawls: Liberty.
    ('Freedom' and 'liberty' mean the same.) In 20th century political philosophy some have favoured a 'negative' concept of liberty (freedom from constraint) and criticised 'positive' notions of liberty ('freedom to') as incipiently authoritarian. According to Rawls every liberty is both negative and positive. That there is a certain liberty means that a certain person (or persons, or all persons) is (are) not under certain constraints, so that they can do a certain sort of thing (see p.
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  9.  60
    John Kilcullen, Max Weber: On Capitalism.
    Weber's most famous book is The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism (1904-5). It is generally taken as a counter to the Marxist thesis of the primacy of base over superstructure: Weber is supposed to have argued in this book that capitalism in fact developed historically as a result of a..
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  10.  55
    John Kilcullen, Democracy in Australia.
    The Australian political system is in some ways democratic, and in some ways not. The relationship between Prime Minister, Parliament and electorate seems to me the most democratic part of the system. The undemocratic features include bicameralism, federalism, monarchy, and some others. In calling certain features undemocratic I don't necessarily mean they're bad. For the views of 19th century liberals on whether democracy is a good thing, and if so subject to what limitations (if any), and several similar questions, see (...)
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  11.  49
    John Kilcullen, Rawls: The Original Position.
    John Rawls, professor of philosophy at Harvard, published a paper in the Philosophical Review for 1958 called 'Justice as Fairness', followed up by various other papers, and in 1971 a large book A Theory of Justice . Rawls disagrees with the Utilitarians over their way of spelling out the idea of the happiness of mankind generally. They say: Consider whether the act, rule or institution to be evaluated is best for the happiness of mankind generally. The difficulty is that often (...)
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  12.  45
    John Kilcullen, A Comparison of the Australian, British, and American Political Systems.
    Like the American system ours is federal: i.e., there are two levels of government, neither of which can change the powers of the other or make laws within certain fields assigned to the other. The British system is 'unitary': the British parliament can make laws on any matter, local government has whatever powers the national government delegates to it. Like the British, ours is a system of responsible government . The Government (the Prime Minister and cabinet) is 'responsible' to parliament. (...)
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  13.  44
    John Kilcullen, Rawls: Decisions in the Original Position.
    In the last lecture I talked first about the difference principle, and then about the original position and the intuitions that seem to have guided Rawls in constructing it. At the end I was saying that his intuitions about religion and morality are those of the small-l liberal, who wants a 'fair go' for diverse and conflicting philosophies of life. This leads to my next topic (still under the general heading of the Original Position), -.
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  14.  41
    John Kilcullen, Medieval Theories of Natural Rights.
    From the 12 th century onwards, medieval canon lawyers and, from the early 14 th century, theologians and philosophers began to use ius to mean a right, and developed a theory of natural rights, the predecessor of modern theories of human rights. The main applications of this theory were in respect of property and government.
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  15.  42
    John Kilcullen (2010). Medieval and Modern Concepts of Rights : How Do They Differ? In Virpi Mäkinen (ed.), The Nature of Rights: Moral and Political Aspects of Rights in Late Medieval and Early Modern Philosophy. The Philosophical Society of Finland
    (Abstract: To say that there is a moral right to act in a certain way is to say that there is a presumption that such acts are morally right, which implies that others should not blame, punish or deliberately obstruct. A community’s recognition of such rights is a way of reducing conflict among its members. Natural or human rights are rights that ought to be recognised in every community. Statements of natural rights are not analytic; they may be self evident, (...)
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  16.  13
    John Kilcullen (1985). Bayle on the Rights of Conscience. Philosophy Research Archives 11:1-39.
    This is a critical study of the arguments of Pierre Bayle’s Commentaire philosophique by which he tries to show that someone whose conscience is in error has a moral right (of a limited kind) to do what it commands, and that the act may be morally good; and that others, such as the government, may nevertheless have the right, and a duty, to prevent the act by force.
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  17.  38
    John Kilcullen, Reading Guide 10: Schumpeter, Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy.
    Open the Readings on p.217 and look through the table of contents. Part I is an appreciation and critique of Marx. Schumpeter argues that Marx's argument to show that Capitalism will eventually destroy itself is unsound. Nevertheless, Schumpeter himself thinks that Capitalism contains the seeds of its one destruction. Hence Part II: Can Capitalism Survive? The answer he gives is No. But at first, Chapters 5-8, he explains the strengths and virtues of Capitalism. Then he explains why it will eventually (...)
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  18.  26
    John Kilcullen, INTRODUCTION to William of Ockham, The Work of Ninety Days.
    Saint Francis 's desire to follow the life of Jesus made him go to great lengths to dissociate himself from power, property and legal rights of any kind. The witness to Christian humility that his small group gave was so attractive to his contemporaries that soon his fellowship became a large organisation entrusted by the Church with a preaching mission throughout Europe and beyond. By 1300 there were Franciscans in Beijing.
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  19.  24
    John Kilcullen (1988). Sincerity and Truth: Essays on Arnauld, Bayle, and Toleration. Oxford University Press.
    Philosophical Commentary on the Words of the Gospel 'Compel Them to Come In', written by the Protestant philosopher Pierre Bayle in 1686-88, was a classic statement of the case for toleration at a time of extreme persecution. This collection of Kilcullen's writings on Bayle's work examines a wide range of 17th-century religious and philosophical issues, including Bayle's arguments, Arnauld's attack on Jesuit moral theories similar to Bayle's, the uses and limitations of "reciprocity" arguments, the "ethics of belief," and questions of (...)
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  20.  27
    John Kilcullen, Conclusion: Sincerity and Being Right.
    The case for toleration as Bayle presents it seems closely tied to the proposition that if we do what we sincerely think right then we do a morally good act, even if that act is actually wrong. The prominence of this proposition in his book would have made it seem unpersuasive to some of the people most important to convince, namely those who followed "the principles of St Augustine". Arnauld, for example, rejects the Jesuits' thesis that an act cannot be (...)
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  21.  31
    John Kilcullen, Adam Smith: The Wealth of Nations.
    In the POL167 course materials there is an essay 'Free enterprise and its critics' , which I suggest you read. It is not about Adam Smith particularly, but about the theory which he proposed and others developed.
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  22.  24
    John Kilcullen, Medieval Political Theory.
    Every intellectual discipline constructs and reconstructs its own history, as writings not previously regarded as important get into reading lists and others fall out. Until recently students of political theory were urged to read Plato and Aristotle, and then Hobbes and Locke, but nothing, or very little, between the Greeks and the early moderns. Those who have ventured into this gap have found that, at least from the thirteenth century, there was a good deal of political theory, with clear links (...)
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  23.  1
    Thomas Williams, Arthur Stephen McGrade, John Kilcullen & Matthew Kempshall (2002). The Cambridge Translations of Medieval Philosophical Texts, Vol. 2: Ethics and Political Philosophy. Philosophical Review 111 (4):576.
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  24.  30
    John Kilcullen, Tape 4: J.S. Mill, Utilitarianism.
    Utilitarianism is the doctrine that actions, institutions, etc. are to be evaluated (as right, wrong, good, evil, etc.) by considering their likely contribution to the happiness of the human race; in this calculation the happiness of any one person is to count for no more or less than the happiness of any other.
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  25.  29
    John Kilcullen, Medieval Theories of Natural Law.
    In medieval texts the term ius naturale can mean either natural law or natural right; for the latter sense see the article Natural Rights ”. Ius naturale in the former sense, and also lex naturalis, mean the universal and immutable law to which the laws of human legislators, the customs of particular communities and the actions of individuals ought to conform. It is equivalent to morality thought of as a system of law. It is called “natural” either (a) because it (...)
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  26.  21
    John Kilcullen, The Israel/Palestinian Conflict: How Did It Begin? Will It Ever End?
    We all follow the news and we all think about the Israel/Palestine conflict, I believe, but it is not much discussed in this country. Our politicians leave it to the Americans. General Petraeus, in a statement to the US Senate Armed Services Committee, last year, listed this issue as one of the “major drivers of instability, inter-state tensions, and conflict” in the Middle East. “The conflict foments anti- American sentiment,” he said, “due to a perception of U.S. favoritism for Israel”. (...)
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  27.  25
    John Kilcullen, Ockham and the Dialogus.
    The best way of becoming acquainted with William of Ockham and his Dialogue would be to read A.S. McGrade's "Introduction", "Principal Dates in Ockham's Life", and "Suggestions for Further Reading" in..
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  28.  27
    John Kilcullen, Self-Determination and the Right to Establish a Government.
    (Abstract: The right of “national self-determination” sometimes claimed for ethnic/religious/linguistic groups is not to be confused with the right to rebel against tyranny or with a right to secede, and it is limited by respect for the territorial integrity of functioning states. In some cases self-determination may take the form of some sort of autonomy within a mixed state. Ockham’s use of the canon..
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  29.  26
    John Kilcullen, Adam Smith: The Moral Sentiments.
    Adam Smith was born in Kirkcaldy, Scotland, in 1723 (Source on Smith's life: E G West, Adam Smith ). He entered Glasgow University in 1737, aged 14. This university still followed some practices of the medieval universities, for example in admitting students at age 14. Its professors still took fees directly from students: that had been the original practice in medieval universities, but in more famous universities rich people had endowed colleges within the university, which paid lecturers' salaries. The Glasgow (...)
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  30.  24
    John Kilcullen, Schumpeter: Capitalism, Socialism, Democracy.
    The book begins with a critique of Marx. The subtitle of part 1 is 'The Marxian Doctrine'. The most interesting parts of it are chapter 2, 'Marx the Sociologist', and chapter 3 'Marx the Economist'. Schumpeter's criticisms are well-informed and sympathetic. His sociological views are like Weber's, and he is aware of the kinship between those views and the more sophisticated versions of Marxism, such as is found in the letters Engels wrote in the 1890s. 'Nevertheless, the question arises whether (...)
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  31.  23
    John Kilcullen, Aristotle's Ethics: Essay.
    I Virtue 1. Moral Virtue 2. Continence, Endurance, and Virtue 3. Desert 4. The Intellectual Virtues II The Good Life 5. The Good for Man 6. Happiness 7. Production and Action 8. Action and Contemplation 9. Teleology III Friendship 10. What friendship is 11. Kinds of friendship 12. The friend as another self 13. The need for friends IV Political science V Some reflections..
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  32.  24
    John Kilcullen, Week 12: Medieval Elements in Berkeley, Locke and Hume.
    This is cassette 12, concerned with more connexions between late medieval and early modern thought. The first writer we will look at is George Berkeley, who criticised Locke's theory of abstract ideas and put forward his own theory of universality.
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  33.  19
    John Kilcullen, John Buridan, Commentary on Aristotle's Ethics, Book 10: Corrected Text.
    See collation, showing variants found in the early printed edition and some manuscripts. The corrected text following omits rejected variants and implements those that have been accepted.
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  34.  23
    John Kilcullen, Reading Guide 11: Rawls, A Theory of Justice.
    The first article is from 1958, "Justice as Fairness", Readings, p.241. It is divided into eight sections numbered with Roman numerals. I have underlined some phrases and written in some headings. Read Section I. The first two paragraphs give the reader some preliminary idea of what he will do in the rest of the article, the 3rd and 4th fend off possible misunderstandings. Read now section II. Some comments. First, in these two principles there are in fact four points: (1) (...)
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  35.  21
    John Kilcullen, J.S. Mill: Logic.
    Wealth of Nations was published in 1776. Among the people who took up its ideas were Jeremy Bentham (b. 1748). Bentham and James Mill were friendly also with David Ricardo and Thomas Malthus. Ricardo's Principles of Political Economy & Taxation (1817) was written at James Mill's suggestion; 'it is almost certain that he would not have finished it without Mill's continuous encouragement' (R.M. Hartwell, 'Introduction' to Ricardo's Principles (Penguin), p.13). James Mill published his own Elements of Political Economy in 1821. (...)
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  36.  19
    John Kilcullen, Separation of Church and State (in Progress).
    In 20th Century America, and in countries of similar political culture, it seemed a permanently established principle that there should be a "wall of separation" between Church and State. But the separation has again become contentious. It is rejected by Muslims and in the US it is under attack from "evangelical" Christians (see Theocracy watch " website). It seems useful to look again at the doctrine of "separation of Church and State", to see what various things the phrase might mean, (...)
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  37.  20
    John Kilcullen, Essay IV. The Ethics of Belief and Inquiry.
    One of the arguments used by the Academic sceptics of ancient times, to force general suspension of judgment upon the Stoics, ran as follows: (1) Any proposition, however certain it may seem, may in fact be false; (2) the wise man (according to the Stoics) will not assert dogmatically anything that may be false;[Note ] therefore (3) we should not affirm anything. Premiss 1 is fallibilism, which to me seems true, and 2 is a proposition of ethics which to me (...)
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  38.  17
    John Kilcullen (1981). Mill on Duty and Liberty. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 59 (3):290 – 300.
    What is Mill's principle of liberty? The question may seem superfluous, since he gave his own apparently careful formulation (223/34-224/10).[Note 1] However he gave several formulations in different terms, and his principle has been interpreted in a number of ways.[Note 2] The Acts meant to be subject to social control have been said variously to be other-regarding acts, acts which harm others, or affect them, or affect their interests, or violate duties owed to them, or violate their rights. These formulae (...)
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  39.  20
    John Kilcullen, Week 6: SCOTUS ON UNIVERSALS.
    book 2, distinction 3, extracts from which are in Hyman and Walsh. The first question is, in effect, whether any theory of individuation is needed. Aren't real things individual "from themselves", just by being real? The Latin says: ex se , sive ex natura sua , "from (or out of) itself, or from its nature". Elsewhere he uses as equivalent per se and de se . Se means itself, ex means from or out of, per means through, de means of (...)
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  40.  19
    John Kilcullen, An Australian Bill of Rights.
    One of the chief arguments against a constitutional Bill of Rights is that it gives judges too much power. The courts interpret the constitution, and from the highest court there is no appeal (though the Constitution can be amended -- a difficult process). As Americans sometimes say, "The US Constitution is whatever the Supreme Court says it is". In many cases the Supreme Court has interpreted the Bill of Rights by means of wire drawn reasoning, reflecting the judges' political and (...)
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  41.  18
    John Kilcullen, Tape 2: Adam Smith, Wealth of Nations.
    "Wealth" means "well-being"; Smith's book is in fact about material well-being. The Wealth of Nations is an influential statement of the case for laissez-faire, the thesis that government should not attempt to control or direct economic activity. His arguments are in terms of both economic efficiency and justice. (Keep an eye out for his references to justice and rights.) As you read these extracts ask what functions he thinks governments do and do not have, and why.
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  42.  4
    John Kilcullen (2010). Christopher A. Franks, He Became Poor: The Poverty of Christ and Aquinas's Economic Teachings.(The Eerdmans Ekklesia Series.) Grand Rapids, Mich., and Cambridge, Eng.: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 2009. Paper. Pp. Viii, 207. $27. [REVIEW] Speculum 85 (3):673-674.
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  43.  17
    John Kilcullen, Week 11: Medieval Elements in Descartes.
    Descartes (1596-1650) is generally regarded as the first of the modern philosophers. Indeed, until about 50 years ago most philosophers would have said that Descartes was the first significant philosopher since Aristotle. Descartes himself does not draw attention to his sources--not to conceal them (that would have been pointless, because to his contemporaries the continuities of his thought with the books they had all been brought up on would have been obvious), but so as to avoid getting embroiled in learned (...)
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  44.  15
    John Kilcullen, Reading Guide: Anselm, de Concordia.
    There is another English translation in Anselm of Canterbury , edited and translated by J. Hopkins and H. Richardson. (Fisher Research 230.208 3), vol.2. If you are reading that translation switch to other version of this reading guide.
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  45.  15
    John Kilcullen, Tape 9: Ockham on Relations.
    Remember that for Ockham there is nothing in the universe that is in any way universal except a concept or word: there are no real natures shared by many things. However, things do resemble one another, some things more closely than others. So the various degrees of resemblance give a foundation in reality for our conceptual structures, such as Porphyry's tree. Now resemblance (or similitude or likeness) is a relation. If such relations are realities, then we can say that there (...)
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  46.  15
    John Kilcullen, Christianity and Greek Philosophy.
    Christianity has had, still has, an important influence in politics and in political thought; and in the part of this course from Augustine to Locke we need to talk about it. In this course I do not assume that you all know about Christianity; some of you are Jews or Muslims, or non-religious. So when I talk about it I will try to explain from scratch. I believe I present Christianity sympathetically, but let me say that I am an atheist, (...)
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  47.  15
    John Kilcullen, Free Enterprise and its Critics.
    The best way to understand a demand for freedom is to consider what it is directed against. The free enterprise movement began in the 18th century as a protest against various restrictions on business enterprise imposed by governments and by corporations sanctioned by government. Corporations (guilds, colleges, companies, universities) had existed since Roman times, ostensibly to guarantee their member's good behaviour, and especially good service to the public. But they served their members' interests also at the expense of the public (...)
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  48.  14
    John Kilcullen, Roberto Michels: Oligarchy.
    Michels started from the radical wing of the German Marxist party, the SPD, and ended in Italy as one of Mussolini's professors of Fascist political science. What unifies his intellectual biography is a Weberian concern with bureaucracy.
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  49.  10
    John Kilcullen, The Medieval Concept of Heresy.
    Medieval theologians took their concept of heresy mainly from the texts of Jerome and Augustine quoted in Gratian’s Decretum. Thomas Aquinas held that anyone w ho pertinaciously denies even a minor item of Church or Bible teaching falls into heresy. Ockham developed criteria for pertinacity and argued that a Christian, even if his or her opinions are actually in error, cannot be regarded as pertinacious simply for refusing to defer to the teaching of a pope.
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  50.  13
    John Kilcullen, Tape 12: Hume's Political Thought.
    This week we read from the eighteenth century Scottish writer, David Hume. Hume rejects the 'social contract' account of the origins of government. The authority of government rests on a general sense of its usefulness; its authority lasts while it remains useful.
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