Page:A Brief History of Modern Philosophy.djvu/13

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been validated.
10
THE PHILOSOPHY OF THE RENAISSANCE

exercising governmental control by virtue of their appointment by the people, and, in the second place, by the fact that the people terminate the government of tyrannical princes by revolution. From the viewpoint of philosophy, on the other hand, the theory of popular sovereignty is demonstrated by the fact that either an expressed or tacit contract (pacturn expressurn vel taciturn) underlies the origin and perpetuity of the state; it is by virtue of such contract that the people institute organized society and submit themselves to governmental authority. Athaus therefore maintains that the purpose of this contract can be nothing else than the welfare of the people. He seems to construe this contract more in the form of a directive idea than as an historic fact. The state is simply the most comprehensive community; its antecedents being the narrower circles of the family, the neighborhood and the corporation.

The appearance of Hugo Grotius’ De Jure belli et pacis (1625) marks an epoch in the sphere of jurisprudence and political theory. Born at Delft in 1583, his great learning in the field of jurisprudence and of theology attracted attention early in life. Politically he belonged to the aristocratic and liberal theological party of Oberbarnevelt. He was rescued from the imprisonment into which he was cast after the fall of Oberbarnevelt by his wife's cunnning. Thereafter he lived in Paris, and finally received the appointment of ambassador to Sweden (1645). Grotius makes war his starting point and requires how it may be abolished. There are four kinds of war between states— between an individual and the state—between different individuals—between the state and the individual. 1. When states declare war they have no right to abrogate the rights of the individual and the obligations of humanity.