Conal Condren offers a radical reappraisal of the character of moral and political theory in early modern England through an exploration of pervasive arguments about office. In this context he explores the significance of oath-taking and three of the major crises around oaths and offices in the seventeenth century. This fresh focus on office brings into serious question much of what has been taken for granted in the study of early modern political and moral theory concerning, for example, the interplay of ideologies, the emergence of a public sphere, of liberalism, reason of state, de facto theory, and perhaps even political theory and moral agency as we know it. Argument and Authority is a major new work from a senior scholar of early modern political thought, of interest to a wide range of historians, philosophers and literary scholars.

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