New Hobbes Studies Special Issue dedicated to the career and work of Professor Johann Sommerville

Hobbes Studies, Special Issue (March 2022)

Articles

Book Reviews

Impressions of the Third Biennial Conference of the European Hobbes Society

“…it is against his duty, to let the people be ignorant, or misinformed of the grounds, and reasons of those his essential rights; because thereby men are easy to be seduced, and drawn to resist him, when the commonwealth shall require their use and exercise.”

Hobbes, Leviathan, XXX.3

From 18-20 Nov 2021, 15 scholars from 10 different countries and for the first time 8 graduate students from the University of Zagreb gathered together in the old and beautiful Mediterranean city of Dubrovnik, Croatia, for the Third Biennial Conference of the European Hobbes Society. As always, it was a joy to see familiar faces as well as to introduce new ones. 

It should be noted that the whole organization was a challenge due to the ongoing Covid-19 related crises. First, the conference had to postponed for a year as the epidemiological situation did not allow majority people to travel. As the Covid-19 global pandemic is still preventing some people from travel, some speakers were unable to attend in the end. Despite all these challenges and missing faces we had thoughtful presentations and productive discussions. Precisely, we had twelve new interesting papers on Hobbes, covering various topics related to Hobbes’s thought from those related to interpretation of Sommerville’s work as it was the case with the opening talk of S.A. Lloyd, to George Wright’s project related to translating the Latin Leviathan, Hobbes’s arguments about religion discussed by Asaf Sokolowski, the relation between Hobbes and Enlightenment by Luc Foisneau, a reconstruction of Hobbes’s state of nature through the work of Thucydides by Luka Ribarević, interpretations of Hobbes’s view on injustice and injury by Johan Olsthoorn, criticism related to Hobbes’s political science by Adrian Blau, etc. 

The full program can be found here.  

We are very grateful to the Faculty of Political Science, University of Zagreb, Croatia for providing us as organizers with grants making this EHS conference possible, as well as the Inter-University Centre Dubrovnik for hosting us and offering the grants allowing our grad students to participate in the conference. Thanks also goes out to all participants, both for coming in Dubrovnik as well as for shaping this small epistemic community and inducing an inspiring and thoughtful conversation on various aspects of Hobbes’s work.

The Inter-University Centre Dubrovnik will be open for hosting similar events and workshops in the future. We continue to welcome initiatives for various events under the aegis of the EHS. Finally, we are pleased to announce that the Fourth Biennial Conference of the European Hobbes Society will be organized by Daniel Eggers, at the University of Regensburg, Germany, in August 2023. Until then, stay safe and enjoy Hobbes!

Programme of the Third Biennial EHS Conference (Inter-University Centre Dubrovnik 18-20th November 2021)

Programme:

Wednesday 17th November 2021

19:00 Dinner – Inter-University Centre building Dubrovnik

Thursday 18th November 2021 

10:00-10:10 Opening talk by the organisers 

Session 1: 

10:10-11:10 S. A. Lloyd: Philosophical Support for Sommerville on Hobbes and Independency (University of Southern California)

11:20-12:20 Gianni Paganini: When Nothing Counts. The Annihilation Hypothesis in Hobbes’ Work (University of Piedmont and Research Center of the Accademia dei Lincei Rome)

12:20-13:30 Lunch, served in the Inter-University Centre building

13:30-15:00 City tour 

Session 2: 

15:30-16:30 George Wright: On Translating the Latin Leviathan (University of Wisconsin Madison)

16:40-17:40 Francesca Rebasti (coauthor Serge Heiden, IHRIM, ENS de Lyon): “Thomas       Hobbes and the Bible”: A Textometric Approach to H. W. Jones’s Agenda (IGB,     INSA Lyon – IHRIM, ENS de Lyon)

19:00 Conference dinner, served at the Inter-University Centre building

Friday 19th November 

Session 4: 

10:00-11:00 Luc Foisneau: Against Philosophical Darkness: A Political conception of Enlightenment (EHESS Paris)

11:10-12:10 Luka Ribarević: Natural Condition of Mankind in Leviathan: A View from Peloponnesus (University of Zagreb)

12:15-13:30 Lunch, served in the Inter-University Centre building

Session 5: 

13:35-14:35 Gonzalo Bustamante: Hobbes and the Possibility of a Zoopolis (Adolfo   Ibáñez University Santiago de Chile)

14:45-15:45 Asaf Sokolowski: The ‘Tohu-Bohu’ Fool and His Defiance of Creation

15:45-16:15 Coffee break

Session 6: 

16:15-17:15 Johan Olsthoorn: Hobbes on Injustice and Injury (University of    Amsterdam)

17:25-18:25 Adrian Blau: Hobbes’s Failed Political Science (King’s College London)

19:30 Informal dinner; venue TBA 

Saturday 20th November 

Session 7: 

9:30-10:30 Kajetan Kubala: Hobbes and the persona perpetua of the State (Queen Mary, University of London)

10:40-11:40 Marko Simendić: The True Gods of Leviathan (University of Belgrade)

11:45-12:30 General meeting of the European Hobbes Society

12:30 Concluding lunch served in the Inter-University Centre building

Call for abstracts: Third Biennial Conference of the EHS

The Third Biennial Conference of the European Hobbes Society will be held at the Inter-University Centre Dubrovnik from Thursday 18th to Saturday 20th November 2021.

In addition to the papers presented by invited speakers, we have reserved a number of slots for papers to be selected from a blind-reviewed call for abstracts. We thus invite abstracts of no more than 300 words (longer abstracts will not be considered) by the end of Wednesday 8th September 2021. We welcome abstracts on any aspect of Hobbes’s thought. Abstracts should be emailed to hrvoje.cvijanovic@fpzg.hr in a Word file by the deadline.

Successful applicants will be informed by Wednesday 15th September 2021. The conference will follow the usual format of the European Hobbes Society, with all papers pre-circulated in advance to allow for optimal discussion and feedback during the conference itself. With this in mind, successful applicants will need to have a full draft of their paper (no longer than 9,000 words, including all references) ready to circulate by Monday 1st November 2021. Accommodation expenses are covered for all the speakers and there is no registration fee for the conference. Unfortunately, we are unable to cover travel expenses of successful applicants.

Attendance at the conference is free and open to all European Hobbes Society members, but the number of places is limited and will be allocated on a first-come, first-serve basis. All participants are strongly encouraged to have a look at the pre-circulated papers in advance of the conference. Places will of course be reserved for everyone presenting papers, but if you would like to attend in a non-presenting capacity then please email hrvoje.cvijanovic@fpzg.hr to reserve your place.

For further information or queries please contact the conference conveners:
Luka Ribarević (University of Zagreb): luka.ribarevic@fpzg.hr
Hrvoje Cvijanović (University of Zagreb): hrvoje.cvijanovic@fpzg.hr

Latest issue of Hobbes Studies

Hobbes Studies, Volume 34, Issue 1 (Apr 2021)

Articles

Progress Reports

Book Reviews

Latest issue of Hobbes Studies

Hobbes Studies, Volume 33, Issue 2 (Nov 2020)

Articles

Book Reviews

  • John Marshall: Collins, Jeffrey. In the Shadow of Leviathan: John Locke and the Politics of Conscience 177
  • Vladimir Milisavljević: Courtland, Shane D., ed. Hobbesian Applied Ethics and Public Policy 182
  • Enzo Rossi McQueen, Alison. Political Realism in Apocalyptic Times 188
  • David Johnston: Raylor, Timothy. Philosophy, Rhetoric, and Thomas Hobbes 192
  • Jeffrey Collins: Fukuoka, Atsuko. The Sovereign and the Prophets: Spinoza on Grotian and Hobbesian Biblical Argumentation 196

Impressions of the Second Biennial Conference

This part of Philosophy is in the same situation as the public roads,
on which all men travel, and go to and fro,
and some are enjoying a pleasant stroll and others are quarrelling,
but they make no progress
Hobbes, De Cive, epistle dedicatory

From 14-16 May 2018, over 35 researchers from across the world came together in the pedestrian city centre of Amsterdam for the Second Biennial Conference of the European Hobbes Society. It was a joy to see quite a few new faces amidst many familiar ones.

The conference was thematically structured around Hobbes’s De cive. No less than thirteen papers carefully mapped the highlights of that text, drawing our attention to inspiring vistas and at times feuding with extant interpretations blocking the road to greater insight. The conference doubled as a manuscript workshop for the Cambridge Critical Guide to De Cive, edited by Robin Douglass and Johan Olsthoorn. The sharp yet constructive discussions will no doubt bolster the quality of the chapters to that volume. Four new members were sworn in to the executive committee of the society during the general meeting — welcome to the team!

The full program can be found here.

We are exceedingly grateful to the Fritz Thyssen Foundation, the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences, King’s College London, and the University of Amsterdam Challenges to Democratic Representation Research Group for their generous financial and infrastructural support. Thanks also goes out to all participants, both for the pleasant intellectual stroll and the interpretive progress made.

The EHS is right now more vibrant than ever. A host of smaller workshops have been organized under the auspices of the society during the last year and more are in the pipeline. We continue to welcome initiatives, including proposals to set up the third biennial conference sometime in 2020. The journey we have jointly embarked on has been incredible so far; long may it carry on!

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Obituary: Glen Newey (1961-2017)

Sadly, Glen Newey passed away after a boating accident in Rotterdam on Saturday 30 September.

Glen was a good friend of the European Hobbes Society, attending and speaking at the Leuven conference in March 2013, and the Leiden conference in September 2015. He was a genuinely European scholar, moving from Keele University in the UK, to Brussels, then Leiden, where he was Professor of Political Philosophy and Ethics.

On top of his pioneering work on political realism, he is best known in Hobbes circles for the Routledge Guidebook to Hobbes’ Leviathan (2nd edition, 2014). He also wrote chapters on Hobbes in Yoke-Lian Lee, ed., The Politics of Gender (2010) and Raia Prokhovnik and Gabriella Slomp, eds., International Political Theory After Hobbes (2011).

Workshop at the University of Edinburgh

From 8-9 June 2017, the Edinburgh Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities hosted a workshop on “Thomas Hobbes and Peace”, which was organised in cooperation with the European Hobbes Society.

The workshop featured pre-circulated papers by Deborah Baumgold, Glen Newey, Gabriella Slomp, Patricia Springborg, and Luca Tenneriello, along with parts of a book manuscript by Maximilian Jaede.

The event was aimed at reconsidering Hobbes’s conception of peace, its place in the history of political thought, and its reception today. While all participants highlighted Hobbes’s commitment to peace, there was debate on what precisely Hobbes means by being at peace, and on the interpretation of his ideas in relation to other thinkers. The programme is available here.

We would like to thank all workshop participants for their contributions. The Institute for Advanced Studies, the Global Justice and Global Development Academies at the University of Edinburgh, and the British International Studies Association generously supported the event.

Workshop at the European University Institute

From April 27-28 2017, 20 scholars, based in several different countries, came together at the European University Institute, just outside Florence.  This was our first workshop south of the Alps, and the first  to include an open call for papers.

Alan Cromartie (Reading) delivered a wonderful and wide-ranging keynote speech on Hobbes’s early intellectual development. The eleven other pre-circulated papers covered a range of subjects, from natural religion to conceptions of multitude and obligation. The workshop stood out for having a few very interesting papers on Hobbes’s metaphysics and philosophy of science.

The full program can be downloaded here.

We are very grateful to the EUI’s Max Weber Programme and Department for History and Civilization for having made possible this conference financially. Thanks also go out to all participants and attendees. The next European Hobbes Society workshop will take place in the very near future: June 8-9 in Edinburgh.

 

Firenze workshop 2