charles de secondat

4

The Hogwarts Houses as Enlightenment Philosophers Aesthetic

Slytherin as Thomas Hobbes

The author of Leviathan, Hobbes argued that the absolute power of a king comes from a choice made by his subjects, where they choose to sacrifice some of their freedoms for the sake of protection. In his view, nature was created without law and order, and that state could only be changed by civilization and authority. He also expressed a great deal of distrust toward organized religion, believing that it could be used to spark unrest and civil war. Although he was the most conservative of all of these enlightenment thinkers, as he upheld the virtue of monarchy, it was nonetheless Hobbes who first developed many ideas that influenced later thinkers: mankind’s inherent equality; the right of the individual; the need for the people’s will to be represented by their leaders; and the “social contract”, where a king only has power because of the will of the majority. 

Hufflepuff as John Locke

The author of Two Treatises of Government, Locke agreed with Hobbes on many points but disagreed on a few key things that would make him the most famous of all these thinkers and the “Father of Liberalism.” His best known contribution was the notion that, at birth, every man is endowed with natural, inalienable rights – life, liberty, and property – that cannot be given away or taken by anyone else. In Locke’s view, every person is born a “tabala rasa” (or “blank slate”), and knowledge is only gained through experience and sensory perception. Locke also believed in quiet, restrained government that only interferes when it absolutely has to, not unlike what future American revolutionaries like Thomas Jefferson would later champion. Locke favored a representative democratic government that would mainly protect property and trade and little else.

Ravenclaw as Charles-Louis de Secondat, Baron de La Brède et de Montesquieu

The author of The Spirit of the Laws, Montesquieu contradicted both Locke and Hobbes, proclaiming that in nature, humans are not inherently good or wicked, but rather just weak, fearful creatures that naturally avoid violence.Therefore once mankind joins society, they lose their inherent equality and knowledge of their own mortality and learn to pursue war and conquest. It’s that thirst for war and conquest that then leads to government and the creation of laws. Montesquieu theorized that the best approach to government was to split it into distinct, separate entities – he liked the concept of three branches (executive, legislative, and judicial) that could check and balance the others. This of course would later inspire the United States’ three branches of government. His idea of three would also shape his concept of the three types of government – monarchy, ruled by honor; republic, ruled by virtue; and despotism, ruled by fear.

Gryffindor as Jean-Jacques Rousseau

The author of The Social Contract, Rousseau is generally considered the most radical of these thinkers. He believed that all people are born happy and equal, only to be corrupted by society at large as they grow up. In Rousseau’s mind, the only reason that people are subservient to kings is because the lower classes were deceived into seeing higher ones as superior. Thus the so-called “social contract” is in truth a scam perpetrated by the wealthy against the rest of society. Rousseau’s central theme, however, was individuality – not only did he strongly believe in the idea of a direct democracy (rather than a representative one), but he believed all decisions, both legal and legislative, should be made “by the people” alone, and not by any sort of court or executive authority. He also championed the idea that it was more valuable for children’s education to revolve around morality and character than about imparting to them information and concepts.


Note: All of these philosophers have their strengths and weaknesses, and I’m sure all of you will have your own opinions about their theories. All I wanted to do was use these thinkers to draw parallels to the psychological split between the four houses, not dictate what everyone personally believes. Hell, I’m a Slytherin, and I personally think that each of these thinkers brought something good to the table. And I would not mind giving each of them a boot to the head for some other stupid thing they believed in. So there you go.

Vi son due specie di persone infelici.
Gli uni hanno una certa insufficienza nell'anima, che fa sí che niente la scuota. Essa non ha la forza di desiderare niente, e tutto quanto la tocca non risveglia che dei sentimenti sordi. Il possessore di quest'anima è sempre abbattuto; la vita gli è d'incomodo; ogni suo istante gli pesa. Egli non ama la vita; ma teme la morte.
L'altra specie di persone infelici, opposta alla prima, è formata da coloro che desiderano impazientemente tutto quello che non possono avere, e si consumano nella speranza d'un bene che indietreggia sempre.
—  Charles-Louis de Secondat, baron de la Brède et de) Montesquieu, Riflessioni e pensieri inediti (1716-1755), “II, Sull’uomo” - Sulla felicità
Se non volessimo che esser felici, sarebbe presto fatto. Ma vogliamo essere piú felici degli altri, e questo è quasi sempre difficile, perché crediamo gli altri piú felici di quanto non siano.
—  Charles-Louis de Secondat, baron de la Brède et de) Montesquieu, Riflessioni e pensieri inediti (1716-1755), “II, Sull’uomo” - I piaceri e la felicità
Il caffè è l’unico luogo dove il discorso crea la realtà, dove nascono piani giganteschi, sogni utopistici e congiure anarchiche senza che si debba lasciare la propria sedia.
—  Charles-Louis de Secondat, baron de La Brède e de Montesquieu