Political theory resized

New article: Of Wonder: Thomas Hobbes’s Political Appropriation of Thaumazein

Kye Anderson Barker: “Of Wonder: Thomas Hobbes’s Political Appropriation of Thaumazein”, Political Theory, 45 (2017), pp. 362-384.

Abtract: This essay presents a reading of the use of wonder in the political philosophy of Thomas Hobbes. In this essay, I argue that not only did Hobbes incorporate the ancient conception of wonder into his design for the emotional apparatus of the modern sovereign state, but that when he did so he also transformed it and other concepts. Previous scholars have paid close attention to Hobbes’s confrontation with ancient philosophy, but there has been no sustained study of Hobbes’s use of wonder, which was a concern of his over the entire course of his authorship. More broadly, this study opens up a place for the study of wonder in contemporary political theory as part of the broader reassessment of emotion.


Italian Hobbes Scholarship: New Book on Hobbes and Galileio

Gregorio Baldin (2017): Hobbes e Galileo. Metodo, materia e scienza del moto. Firenze: Olschki.

Abstract: This study analyses the profound influence that Galileo had on Hobbes’s philosophy, also through the mediation of Mersenne. The author highlights the many aspects of Hobbesian ‘Galileism': not only methodological and epistemological ones, but also conceptual and lexical analogies in the field of physics, to arrive at a comparison between the two authors on the subject of the structure of matter, revealing a common mechanistic conception of the universe.

Resized Florence workshop

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

German Hobbes book

German Hobbes Scholarship: New book on Hobbes

Lau, Thomas / Reinhardt, Volker / Voigt, Rüdiger (eds.): Der sterbliche Gott. Thomas Hobbes’ Lehre von der Allmacht des Leviathan im Spiegel der Zeit. Baden-Baden: Nomos, 2017.

Abstract: Thomas Hobbes’ reference to a ‘mortal god’ in Leviathan has been the subject of heated discussions for centuries. In contrast to the ‘immortal God’, Leviathan, an artificial person, is mortal in Hobbes’ eyes because he can theoretically revert to civil war at any time. If we consider Hobbes’ doctrine a reflection of his era, then by extension several epochs seem to be of particular interest in this respect. These epochs form part of this book’s structural approach.

With contributions by:
Arno Bammé, Oliver Hidalgo, Thomas Lau, Volker Neumann, Peter Nitschke, Eva Odzuck, Henning Ottmann, Andreas Pecar, Volker Reinhardt, Peter Schröder, Ulrich Thiele und Rüdiger Voigt.

Table of contents







Las Torres de Lucca (2)

New articles on “Hobbes: Power, Image and Sovereignty”

The latest Dossier of Las Torres de Lucca (vo. 5, no. 9, 2016: July-December) is devoted to “Hobbes: Power, Image and Sovereignty”. It includes the following articles:

Hobbes’ Anti-liberal Individualism, James Martel

Subliminal Government: Secret Lessons from Hobbes’s Theory of Images, Representations and Politics, Johan Tralau, Javier Vázquez Prieto (trans.).

Needed but Unwanted. Thomas Hobbes’s Warnings on the Dangers of Multitude, Populism and Democracy, Mikko Jakonen

The Antilogy in the Iuspositivism and the Iusnaturalism in Thomas Hobbes, Patricia Nakayama

Misgivings About Absolute Power: Hobbes and the Concept of Honor, Jerónimo Rilla


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.