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Sir Robert Filmer (1588-1653) and the Patriotic MonarchPatriarchalism in seventeenth-century political thought$
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Cesare Cuttica

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780719083747

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719083747.001.0001

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(p.1) Introduction
Sir Robert Filmer (1588-1653) and the Patriotic Monarch

Cesare Cuttica

Manchester University Press

The Introduction presents the aims of the book and the ways in which the project has been carried out. It illustrates the content of the monograph; it presents the main historiographical interpretations of both patriarchalism and Filmer's ideas; it sets out the methodological approach chosen by the author. Generally identified in the scholarly mainstream as the villain of early modern political thinking, Filmer has been depicted as a narrow-minded representative of a patriarchal society; as a conventional absolutist; or, simply, as the target of John Locke (1632-1704) and the republicans Algernon Sidney (1623-1683) and James Tyrrell (1642-1718). In contrast to these approaches, this study focuses on the political and religious contexts where Filmer wrote and on the intellectual debates in which he was involved during his lifetime. Specific attention is paid to Patriarcha (written in the late 1620s, but not published until 1680) with the aim of unveiling the theoretical cornerstones of the language of patriarchalism, its goals and political message(s).

Keywords:   Filmer, Patriarchalism, Historiography, Contextual approach, Quentin Skinner, Novelty

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