Filmer, Sir Robert, d. 1653, English royalist political writer, author of Patriarcha; or, The Natural Power of Kings (pub. posthumously in 1680), a defense of the divine right of monarchs by an exposition of the patriarchal theory of the origin of government. He attacked Hobbes's contractual theory. Filmer's work was highly influential among Tory political leaders, and it was to refute Filmer that John Locke wrote his two Treatises on Civil Government.
See J. N. Figgis, The Divine Right of Kings (1914); G. H. Sabine, A History of Political Theory (3d ed. 1961).
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