New Issue: Hobbes Studies

Hobbes Studies Volume 31, Issue 1, 2018

A new issue of Hobbes Studies is now available, containing the following articles:

Timothy Raylor: Hobbes and the Hardwick Digests

Mónica Brito Vieira: Revisiting Hobbes on Representation

Robin Douglass: Authorisation and Representation before Leviathan

Philippe Crignon: Representation and the Person of the State

Paul Sagar: What is the Leviathan?

Mónica Brito Vieira: RE-Imagi(n)ing Leviathan

New Article: Thomas Hobbes’ Critique of Ancient Friendship

Slomp, Gabriella (2018): As Thick as Thieves: Exploring Thomas Hobbes’ Critique of Ancient Friendship and its Contemporary Relevance, in: Political Studies. First Published March 19, 2018. https://doi.org/10.1177/0032321718761243

Abstract: Recent decades have witnessed a revival of interest in ancient friendship both as a normative and as an explanatory concept. The literature concurs in holding Hobbes responsible for the marginalisation of friendship in political science and suggests that Hobbes devalued friendship because of his understanding of man. This article argues that although Hobbes’ appraisal of friendship hinges on his assumption that man is self-interested, his critique of normative friendship does not rest on that notion. Hobbes’ challenge to us is this: without foundation in the ‘truth’ (i.e. the ‘Good Life’) that underpinned ancient friendship, modern friendship, whether self-interested or selfless, cannot be assumed to be a civic virtue, nor an index of the health of a political association, nor a facilitator of domestic or global peace. Hobbes’ critique is especially relevant for writers who maintain that a resurgence of friendship can nurture concord and foster reconciliation within contemporary liberal democracies.

 

New book: Cooperative commentary on Hobbes’s De Cive (in German)

Höffe, Otfried (Ed.): Thomas Hobbes. De Cive. (Klassiker Auslegen). Berlin / Boston: De Gruyter, 2018.

A new cooperative commentary on Thomas Hobbes’s De Cive, edited by Otfried Höffe, has just been published. Most chapters are in German, with some exceptions (English). The book is a chapter by chapter commentary on De Cive and includes papers by Jeremy Adler, Ronald Asch, Dirk Brantl, Franz Hespe, Moritz Hildt, Otfried Höffe, Heiner Klemme, Elif Özmen, Dietrich Schotte, Peter Schröder, Patricia Springborg, Tom Sorell and Lothar Waas.

New book: Appropriating Hobbes

Boucher, David (2018): Appropriating Hobbes. Legacies in Political, Legal, and International Thought. Oxford: OUP.

Description by the publisher:

This book explores how Hobbes’s political philosophy has occupied a pertinent place in different contexts, and how his interpreters see their own images reflected in him, or how they define themselves in contrast to him. Appropriating Hobbes argues that there is no Hobbes independent of the interpretations that arise from his appropriation in these various contexts and which serve to present him to the world. There is no one perfect context that enables us to get at what Hobbes ‘really meant’, despite the numerous claims to the contrary. He is almost indistinguishable from the context in which he is read.

Table of contents:

Introduction: Hobbes in Contexts
1: Hobbes Among the Philosophical Idealists: A Will that is Actual, but Not General
2: Understanding Hobbes: Philosophy versus Ideology
3: Constraining Leviathan: Power versus authority in Hobbes, Schmitt, and Oakeshott.
4: Hobbes Among the Classic Jurists: Natural Law versus the Law of Nations
5: Hobbes Among Legal Positivists: Sovereign or Society?
6: Hobbes Among International Relations thinkers: International Political Theory

Hobbes Studies Essay Competition 2018

Hobbes Studies is pleased to invite submissions to the 2018 Hobbes Studies Essay Competition. Submissions should treat the philosophical, political, historical, literary, religious, or scientific aspects of the thought of Thomas Hobbes and be no more than 10,000 words. Essays are invited from researchers in any field who are currently enrolled in postgraduate study or completed their PhD no earlier than 3rd March 2013. Submissions must be received by 30 May 2018. The judges reserve the right not to make an award.

All submissions should be uploaded to the journal’s Editorial Manager website: http://www.editorialmanager.com/hobs/default.aspx. When submitting your manuscript for consideration, please note in the comments box that you desire to be considered for the 2018 competition (immediately before uploading the files), and include your CV. Submissions must follow Hobbes Studies submission guidelines. For questions, please email the Assistant Editor at hobbesstudies@gmail.com. Essays must not have been previously published or simultaneously submitted for consideration elsewhere.

Submissions will be considered for publication in a forthcoming issue of Hobbes Studies. The competition submission selected by the Editorial Board will be published in Hobbes Studies, awarded €350, and receive a year’s subscription. The 2017 prize winning essay was ‘”A State of Lesser Hope”: The Servant in Hobbes’s Natural Commonwealth’ by Caleb Miller, which will be published  in the Autumn issue  of Hobbes Studies.

To download a copy of the competition advertisement, please click here (pdf).

About the Journal

Hobbes Studies is an international, peer-reviewed scholarly journal. It publishes research (articles, book symposia, research notes and book reviews) about philosophical, political historical, literary, religious, and scientific aspects of Thomas Hobbes’s thought. For previous issues, and further information see www.brill.com/hobbes-studies.

German translation of De Cive

A new German translation of De Cive is now available:

Thomas Hobbes: Vom Bürger. Vom Menschen. Dritter Teil der Elemente der Philosophie. Zweiter Teil der Elemente der Philosophie. Herausgegeben von Lothar Waas. Philosophische Bibliothek 665. 2017. Neu übersetzt, mit einer Einleitung und Anmerkungen von Lothar R. Waas. CXXIV, 474 Seiten.

Togther with the Hüning/Hahmann edition (see previous post), the Waas translation will help to bring Hobbes’s De Cive back into the German classrooms and to intensify the scholarly discussion.

Second EHS Biennial Conference (Amsterdam, May 14-16, 2018)

Provisional programme:

Monday 14th May, 2018

09:30-10:00 Welcome and registration, with coffee and pastries
10:00-10:15 Opening talk by the organisers

Session 1:
10:15-11:15 Deborah Baumgold (Oregon) – ‘Dating On the Citizen’
11:25-12:25 Kinch Hoekstra & Nicholas Gooding (UC Berkeley) – ‘Hobbes’s philosophical anthropology: natural sociability’
12:25-13:45 Lunch, served in the Main Library

Session 2:
13:45-14:45 Susanne Sreedhar (Boston University) – ‘The right of nature and the right to all things’
14:55-15:55 Michael LeBuffe (Otago) – ‘Motivation and the good’

Session 3: 
16:15-17:15 Laurens van Apeldoorn (Leiden) – ‘Rex est Populus’: the sovereign and the state’
17:15-17:45 General meeting of the European Hobbes Society (optional)
19:00 Conference dinner, venue TBA

Tuesday 15th May

Session 4:
10:00-11:00 Sophie Smith (Oxford) – ‘Hobbes’s theory of the state: civitas, respublica, and On the Citizen’
11:10-12:10 Michael J. Green (Pomona) – ‘Personation, authorization, and group agency in On the Citizen’
12:10-13:30 Lunch, served in the Main Library

Session 5:
13:30-14:30 Johann P. Sommerville (Wisconsin-Madison) – ‘On the Citizen’s views on religion and church-state relations in historical context’
14:40-15:40 A.P. Martinich (Texas) – ‘Sovereign-making and biblical covenants’

Session 6:
16:00-17:00 Thomas Holden (USCB) – ‘Religious passions’
17:10-18:10 Alison McQueen (Stanford) – ‘Hobbes’s scriptural arguments in On the Citizen’
19:00 Informal dinner, venue TBA

Wednesday 16th May

Session 7:
9:30-10:30 Rosemarie Wagner (UC Berkeley) – ‘Legal obligation and punishment in On the Citizen’
10:40-11:40 Ioannis Evrigenis (Tufts) – ‘The political economy of On the Citizen’
11:50-12:50 S.A. Lloyd (USC) – ‘Sociability and motivation in On the Citizen’
13:00 Concluding lunch; venue TBA

The conference is generously supported by the Fritz Thyssen Foundation, the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Amsterdam Centre for Political Thought (ACPT) and the Challenges to Democratic Representation Research Group at the University of Amsterdam.

For further information or queries please contact the conference convenors:

Johan Olsthoorn (Amsterdam/Leuven): j.c.a.olsthoorn@uva.nl

Eva Odzuck (Erlangen-Nürnberg): eva.odzuck@fau.de

Robin Douglass (King’s College London) robin.douglass@kcl.ac.uk

Free download: new monograph critically evaluating the ‘Hobbesian hypothesis’

Hobbes’s theory of political obligation is premised on the assumption that it is rational for everyone to lay down their rights of self-government and leave that horrid state of nature, characterized by a ceaseless war of all against all. Whether we ought to accept Hobbes’s argument depends, in part, on whether life outside of the state is in fact as nasty, brutish, and short as Hobbes proclaimed. Are we all better off within the state? Many past and present political philosophers have uncritically followed Hobbes in assuming that life outside the state is indeed unbearable.

In Prehistoric Myths in Modern Political Philosophy (Edinburgh University Press 2017), the political philosopher Karl Widerquist and the anthropologist Grant S. McCall team up to assess the veracity of ‘the Hobbesian hypothesis’. Drawing extensively on recent studies of the general levels of violence and welfare in stateless societies, the two conclude that the Hobbesian hypothesis — their phrase for the claim that everyone is better offer in state society than they could reasonably expect to be in any stateless society — is ‘probably false’. Small stateless societies effectively control violence in several ways, including, as Rousseau intimated, by splitting up and moving away. According to Widerquist and McCall, the quality of life of the severely deprived – homeless people, slum-dwellers – is worse today than that of hunter-gatherers living in ‘a state of nature’. Standard social contract theories cannot, therefore, explain why the severely deprived have duties of political obligation.
Prehistoric Myths in Modern Political Philosophy has been made available for free download through an open access project. To legally obtain the e-book, follow this link here.

Leviathan, Edited by Christopher Brooke

Brooke, Christopher (2017): Thomas Hobbes: Leviathan. Edited with a new introduction by Christopher Brooke. London: Penguin Classics.

‘The life of man, solitary, poore, nasty, brutish, and short’

Written during the chaos of the English Civil War, Thomas Hobbes’ Leviathan asks how, in a world of violence and horror, can we stop ourselves from descending into anarchy? Hobbes’ case for a ‘common-wealth’ under a powerful sovereign – or ‘Leviathan’ – to enforce security and the rule of law, shocked his contemporaries, and his book was publicly burnt for sedition the moment it was published. But his penetrating work of political philosophy – now fully revised and with a new introduction for this edition – opened up questions about the nature of statecraft and society that influenced governments across the world.

Call for Abstracts: International Hobbes Association at the APA Eastern 2018

The International Hobbes Association will be sponsoring two sessions at the American Philosophical Association 2018 EASTERN Division meetings, January 3-6 in Savannah, Georgia. You are invited to submit an abstract for a paper presentation. Papers selected for presentation will also be considered for publication in Hobbes Studies.

By August 1, 2017, please electronically submit your abstract (400 word maximum) to, IHA Sovereign (Presiding Officer), Rosamond Rhodes, (rosamond.rhodes@mssm.edu).