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A Lipsian Legacy? Neo-Absolutism, Natural Law And The Decline Of Reason Of State In France 1660–1760

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Chapter Summary

This chapter shows that while Lipsiuss absolutist political philosophy faded and came under rhetorical and political attack, it was replaced by new theories of technical and economic administration and the morality of the rule of natural law. In the end, his philological work, his own religious ambiguity, and his imprint on how to read and use history for politics outlasted his political ideology of reason of state. At the beginning of the seventeenth century, Lipsius was one of the most popular authors in France. In spite of ethical and Christian safeguards, the method of Lipsian mixed prudence did not differ significantly from Machiavellian prudenza. New absolutism, new forms of rationalism, natural law, the quarrel of the Ancients and Moderns, political economy, the rise of the financial, military industrial complex and the natural sciences all changed political culture.

Keywords: France; Lipsian; Machiavellian prudenza; natural law; new absolutism; political economy; seventeenth century



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