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Time, Crisis and Western Political Thought, 1550-1660s

Dates:
  • Mon 24 Jun 2019 10.00 - 12.00
  Add to Calendar 2019-06-24 10:00 2019-06-24 12:00 Europe/Paris Time, Crisis and Western Political Thought, 1550-1660s

This dissertation examines the evolution of temporal perceptions amid crises in Western Europe, in the period between 1500 an 1660s. Time was especially puzzling to the early modern intellect that was constantly faced by instability, mutation and changeability. Time thus captured the imagination of intellectuals, noblemen and commoners alike. Not only was time central to the economic, social and religious organization of early modern Europe, but it was also visibly and audibly present in the everyday life as the massive clocks rang in the city square. Importantly, the early modern intellect perceived time to be at once the dimension of one’s social existence and an agent of history of its own accord. Being such, time then also mattered politically. How did the temporal perceptions alter amid crises? What sort of reflection did temporal perceptions find in the political thought generated between 1500 and 1660s? This thesis represents a novel reexamination of Western political thought from the perspective of temporal discourses precisely. Concentrating on the study of temporal discourses during crises, the work engages with a number of scholarly debates in early modern intellectual history and provides a novel reading of the emergence of the theory of early modern sovereign state, as well as of the state of exception. It is argued that the early modern theory of sovereignty was born as a result of a gradual radicalization of Western political thought precisely as the human intellect sought to respond to the exceptionality generated by time. It was in so doing that the idea of absolute sovereignty emerged to counter the malice of time.

Sala del Torrino - Villa Salviati- Castle DD/MM/YYYY
  Sala del Torrino - Villa Salviati- Castle

This dissertation examines the evolution of temporal perceptions amid crises in Western Europe, in the period between 1500 an 1660s. Time was especially puzzling to the early modern intellect that was constantly faced by instability, mutation and changeability. Time thus captured the imagination of intellectuals, noblemen and commoners alike. Not only was time central to the economic, social and religious organization of early modern Europe, but it was also visibly and audibly present in the everyday life as the massive clocks rang in the city square. Importantly, the early modern intellect perceived time to be at once the dimension of one’s social existence and an agent of history of its own accord. Being such, time then also mattered politically. How did the temporal perceptions alter amid crises? What sort of reflection did temporal perceptions find in the political thought generated between 1500 and 1660s? This thesis represents a novel reexamination of Western political thought from the perspective of temporal discourses precisely. Concentrating on the study of temporal discourses during crises, the work engages with a number of scholarly debates in early modern intellectual history and provides a novel reading of the emergence of the theory of early modern sovereign state, as well as of the state of exception. It is argued that the early modern theory of sovereignty was born as a result of a gradual radicalization of Western political thought precisely as the human intellect sought to respond to the exceptionality generated by time. It was in so doing that the idea of absolute sovereignty emerged to counter the malice of time.


Location:
Sala del Torrino - Villa Salviati- Castle

Affiliation:
Department of History and Civilization

Type:
Thesis defence

Contact:
Francesca Parenti - Send a mail

Examiner:
Prof. Maurizio Viroli (Princeton University)
Luca Molà (EUI and University of Warwick)
Christopher Brooke (Cambridge University)

Supervisor:
Ann Thomson (European University Institute)

Defendant:
Dr Grigol Gegelia

Attachment:
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