Workmanship Ideal or Convenience?

One of the biggest issues I have with modern, Western political theory is Locke‘s so-called ‘workmanship ideal‘, a concept stemming from the Enlightenment belief that a maker of something should be the rightful owner of something. The Age of Enlightenment (AKA Age of Reason) was supposed to have divorced science from other rationale, whether divine rights (as ascribed to kings) or something else. The problem—the same problem Descartes had in his Discourses—is that God (even if vis-a-vis ‘nature‘) is injected exogenously and irrationally into the works. Philosophers even into the 21st century, if barely, have concluded that this concept breaks down when we attempt to secularise it, but we are subjectively comfortable with the notion. Of course, the more our beliefs lean towards ‘higher powers‘, intelligent design and the such, the more comfortable we are apt to feel.

I was originally inspired to write this when researching Rawls and happening upon Ian Shapiro‘s Yale open course, The Moral Foundations of Politics. James Murphy has this to say in his essay, The Workmanship Ideal : A Theologico-Political Chimera?

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “Workmanship Ideal or Convenience?

  1. By God, I feel perfectly comfortable with the workmanship ideal. If I pick up a watch and examine it, it occurs to me that, Great Merciful Heavens, somebody MADE this! Likewise, when I look at Mount Rushmore. The complexity of some other things like an unaltered landscape, a bristlecone pine, or the human body is only a speed bump on my path to belief and glory. The more you leftist radicals attack the idea of a “higher power,” the more the rest of us dig in our heels. Secularism is plain wrong. Can you PROVE to me there is no such higher power. No? Q.E.D.

    Most cordially yours,
    Alex Jones at Infowars.

    Only kidding. I’m taking Shaprio’s course on Coursera too and can’t quite get the workmanship ideal.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s