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 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. Follow this link to legally obtain the e-book.

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).

Call for papers for a special issue of Hobbes Studies

Hobbes Studies invites submission for a Special Issue on German Hobbes Scholarship which will be published in the spring of 2019. The guest editors for the Special Issue will be Dirk Brantl and Daniel Eggers.

Submissions may approach the topic from a variety of perspectives and may include, for example:

• papers from current German philosophers, historians etc. working on Hobbes
• papers critically engaging with past or present German Hobbes scholarship
• papers examining how Hobbes’s philosophy was received and discussed by major figures in the history of German philosophy such as Leibniz, Pufendorf, Kant or Hegel

Please do not submit literature reviews about recent German Hobbes scholarship since such a review will be provided by the guest editors by way of an introduction.

The submissions will initially be reviewed by the two guest editors. Selected papers will then be sent out to external reviewers, and the final decisions will be made on the basis of their reports.

Submissions should be no longer than 8,000 words (incl. notes and bibliography) and should be with the editors by 31th of December 2017.

If you would like to submit a paper, please send an anonymized pdf version of the paper along with a brief abstract to dirk.brantl@gmx.net. Please do not use Hobbes Studies’ Editorial Manager for submitting your paper.

If you have any further questions, please contact the guest editors at the following address daniel.eggers@uni-koeln.de.

Registration: Hobbes workshop 27-28 April, EUI, Florence

This two-day workshop is organised under the aegis of the European Hobbes Society and supported by the European University Institute’s Max Weber Programme and the Department of History and Civilization. Papers will be pre-circulated to registered participants.

On the first day there will be a keynote lecture from Prof. Alan Cromartie (University of Reading) on ‘The Hobbesian project: science, politics, and worship’.

To register, click here.

The programme is available here.

Hobbes Studies: 2017 Essay Competition

Hobbes Studies is pleased to invite submissions to the Hobbes Studies Essay Competition 2017. 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 2012. Submissions must be received by 3rd March 2017. 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 2017 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 hobbestudies@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 winning essay will be awarded 350 euros, a year’s subscription to the journal and be published in Hobbes Studies.

 

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. You can also read the 2016 prize winning essay here: http://booksandjournals.brillonline.com/content/journals/10.1163/18750257-0290200

 

Editor-in-Chief

Gabriella Slomp, University of St Andrews

 

Associate Editor

Marcus Adams, University at Albany, SUNY

 

Assistant Editor

Joanne Paul, University of Sussex

 

Founding Editor

Martin A. Bertman†

 

Editorial Board

Timo Airaksinen, University of Helsinki

Jeffrey Barnouw, The University of Texas at Austin

Adrian Blau, King’s College London

Mónica Brito-Vieira, University of York

Juhana Lemetti, University of Helsinki

Sir Noel Malcolm, All Souls College, Oxford

Aloysius P. Martinich, The University of Texas at Austin

Timothy Raylor, Carleton College

Rosamond Rhodes, CUNY

 

Lecture Series: War and Peace in Hobbes’s Political Philosophy

A lecture series on “War and Peace in Hobbes’s Political Philosophy” will take place at the University of Erlangen-Nürnberg, Kollegienhaus KH. 2.012, Universitätsstraße 15, 91054 Erlangen, Germany.
In eight lectures, international experts (including Kinch Hoekstra, Peter Schröder and Patricia Springborg) alongside younger scholars will discuss Thomas Hobbes’s political philosophy and his notions of war and peace.
Questions which will be discussed are:
Is Hobbes a “Prince of Peace”? Is the title of “realist” correct to describe the complexity of his political philosophy? What kind of peace can we find in Hobbes, and what are its psychological preconditions? What kind of arguments and literary techniques does Hobbes use for his philosophical and his political goals? Is his translation of Thucydides a mere translation?
Attendance is free but registration is recommended. You are welcome to attend only some of the lectures.  If you would like to join us for dinner after a lecture, please let us know, so that we can adjust our reservations. For any further questions please contact Eva.Odzuck@fau.de.
Please find all information in this pdf.

hobbeslectures

First Biennial Conference of the European Hobbes Society

“Of all Discourse, governed by desire of Knowledge, there is at last an End,

either by attaining, or by giving over. And in the chain of Discourse,

wheresoever it be interrupted, there is an End for that time.”

Hobbes, Leviathan, vii.1

 

From 20-22 Sept 2016, 25 scholars, based in 10 different countries, came together in the cosy college town of Leuven, Belgium, for the first biennial conference of the European Hobbes Society. It was a joy to see quite a few new faces amidst many familiar ones. With much judgment and wit, and some fancy, we discussed ten new papers, covering a range of aspects of Hobbes’s thought. The two splendid keynote speeches were delivered by Deborah Baumgold and S.A. Lloyd. While our academic discussions have not quite ended, at the conference, a resolute and final sentence was cast on our constitution, which was judiciously adopted by universal acclaim.

The full program can be found here.

We are very grateful to the magnanimous Fritz Thyssen Stiftung for having made possible this conference. Thanks also goes out to all participants, both for the fine social and intellectual virtues which they have brought to bear on the event, and for helping us relocate the conference to KU Leuven at short notice.

As the title of the conference boldly announced, we aspire to organise a larger conference every two years. We look forward to setting up smaller workshops, panels, and lectures series in the meantime, and we much encourage and support you to do the same. Our dialogue has not concluded, it has merely been interrupted.

Foto 21.09.16, 16 24 43 Foto 21.09.16, 18 09 35 Foto 22.09.16, 11 15 07

EHS Biennial Conference in Leuven, 21 and 22 September 2016

The first EHS biennial conference has been relocated and will now take place on Wednesday 21 and Thursday 22 September, at the Institute of Philosophy, KU Leuven, Belgium. It promises to be an exciting event: the programme (here) includes papers by Patricia Springborg, Luc Foisneau, Deborah Baumgold, Peter Schröder, Agostino Lupoli, and S.A. Lloyd.

Attendance at the conference is free but registration is required. Please email Johan Olsthoorn (johan.olsthoorn@kuleuven.be) to register or for any further information.

fthyssenThe organisers are pleased to gratefully acknowledge the generous support of the Fritz Thyssen Foundation for making possible this event.

CFP: International Hobbes Association at the APA Eastern Division

The International Hobbes Association will sponsor two sessions at the American Philosophical Association (APA) Eastern Division Meeting, January 4-7, 2017 in Baltimore, MD. You are invited to submit an abstract for a paper presentation. Papers selected for presentation will also be strongly considered for publication in Hobbes Studies.

Abstracts (400 words maximum) should be submitted electronically to Rosamond Rhodes, Presiding Officer of the IHA (rosamond.rhodes@mssm.edu). Deadline: August 15, 2016.