Conference announcement: Thomas Hobbes and Peace (Edinburgh, 8/9 June)

Thomas Hobbes and Peace
Event date:
Thursday 8 June to Friday 9 June
Location:
Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities, 2 Hope Park Square, EH8 9NW
An IASH/Susan Manning Workshop organised in cooperation with the European Hobbes Society

The programme will begin at 9.30am on the first day and finish no later than 3pm on the second day. Speakers and discussants will be invited for dinner at a nearby restaurant in the evening of the first day.

Thomas Hobbes is sometimes deemed to be a “philosopher of peace” and remains an important reference point in debates on this subject. His name is invoked in discussions about peace across political theory, international relations theory, peace and conflict studies, and the literature on transitional justice. Hobbes is often seen as a standard bearer of the idea of a coercively induced “negative peace”, which consists of the mere absence of war. Such a condition is contrasted with a “positive peace”, which is realised in a just society. Hobbes is also associated with a misleading dichotomy between conditions of war and peace, which may obscure practices of violence during times of “peace”. Moreover, scholars continue to attribute to him the view that there could be no lasting international peace, because states remain in a “state of war” towards one another. The objective of this interdisciplinary workshop is to question standard interpretations of Hobbes’s political thought by reassessing his ideas on peace from a variety of perspectives.

The workshop features papers by Deborah Baumgold (Oregon), Signy Gutnick Allen (York), Glen Newey (Leiden), Johan Olsthoorn (Leuven), Gabriella Slomp (St Andrews), and Patricia Springborg (HU Berlin). In addition, Maximilian Jaede (Edinburgh) will present parts of his book manuscript titled Thomas Hobbes’s Proto-Liberal Conception of Peace.

The workshop format has been chosen in order to facilitate an intensive discussion among scholars with interests in Hobbes’s conception of peace, its place in the history of political thought, and its reception today. Speakers are encouraged to circulate their papers by 1st June among the registered attendants. In this way, papers do not need to be presented at length at the workshop, maximising the time for an in-depth discussion of each contribution. An allocated respondent will provide comments on each paper, followed by questions and discussion.

Attendance is free of charge but advance registration is required, as refreshments will be served throughout the day. If you wish to attend please email Max Jaede at maximilian.jaede@ed.ac.uk

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

Workshop on Arash Abizadeh’s manuscript

On June 17th, several members of the European Hobbes Society met to discuss a draft of Arash Abizadeh’s important, book-length analysis of Hobbes’s moral philosophy. Abizadeh’s manuscript incisively combines rigorous textual interpretation with powerful philosophical analysis to cast new light on Hobbes’s ethics and meta-ethics. The workshop covered numerous features of the book, from fine details of interpretating Hobbes to broader issues of framing.

We then discussed a draft paper by Signy Gutnick Allen which offers a penetrating analysis of Hobbes’s theory of the right to punish.

Those present, from left to right in the picture above, were Adrian Blau (King’s College London), Elad Carmel (Oxford), Robin Douglass (King’s College London), Deborah Baumgold (Oregon), Arash Abizadeh (McGill), Signy Gutnick Allen (Queen Mary, University of London), and Paul Sagar (Cambridge).