A new volume edited by Éric Marquer and Paul Rateau analyzes Hobbes’s influence on Leibniz, shows that Leibniz “knew his Hobbes” and how he engages with Hobbes’s philosophy in his teachings on physics, theory of knowledge, morals, law and, of course, politics. An appendix includes the two letters from Leibniz to Hobbes (1670 et 1674), translated in French.
According to Hobbes, glory causes conflict in two ways: by causing competition over comparative recognition, and by making men violently sensitive to insult. Interpreters have generally depicted the sensitivity to insult as a manifestation of the desire for comparative recognition. This reading raises two problems. First, the two ways in which Hobbes uses glory are inconsistent. Second, if the problem with glory is comparison, then the law of nature enjoining the acknowledgment of equality should lead to war rather than peace. This paper illuminates these obscurities by placing Hobbes in the context of the contemporary literature on honor and civility. These sources reveal two concepts of honor which correspond to the two ways in which Hobbes writes about glory. Hobbes draws heavily from these sources, but intentionally elides the two concepts of honor in order to undermine an ideology of honor that was used to justify disobedience and unlawful violence.
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
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.
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.
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 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
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.
Monday 14th May, 2018
09:30-10:00 Welcome and registration, with coffee and pastries
10:00-10:15 Opening talk by the organisers
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
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’
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
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
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’
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
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): email@example.com
Eva Odzuck (Erlangen-Nürnberg): firstname.lastname@example.org
Robin Douglass (King’s College London) email@example.com
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.
European Hobbes Society
The European Hobbes Society is an international and interdisciplinary research network, which aims to promote scholarship on the thought of Thomas Hobbes.
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