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Ideas of Liberty in Early Modern EuropeFrom Machiavelli to Milton$
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Hilary Gatti

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780691163833

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691163833.001.0001

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Libertas’ philosophandi, or the Liberty of Thought

Libertas’ philosophandi, or the Liberty of Thought

(p.81) Chapter 3 Libertas’ philosophandi, or the Liberty of Thought
Ideas of Liberty in Early Modern Europe

Hilary Gatti

Princeton University Press

This chapter discusses the freedom of thought and speech as it relates to the political, artistic, cultural, and scientific realms. The question of liberty here is raised as ideas of a new institution began to form during the sixteenth century: the parliaments, or general councils, which were inherited from both the classical and medieval worlds. Next, the chapter explores the tensions between author and authority through the figure of William Shakespeare, here considered not so much for his remarkable poetic and dramatic achievement as in his relationships with other figures of his time who were deeply involved in a discourse on liberty and the toleration of new and unorthodox forms of thought. Finally, the chapter considers ideas of liberty as they are applied to the scientific thought of Francis Bacon and Galileo Galilei.

Keywords:   freedom of thought, freedom of speech, libertas philosophandi, parliaments, William Shakespeare, Francis Bacon, Galileo Galilei, culture, science, politics

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