The essays in this volume provide a state-of-the-art overview of the central elements of Hobbes’s political philosophy and the ways in which they can be interpreted. The volume’s contributors offer their own interpretations of Hobbes’s philosophical method, his materialism, his psychological theory and moral theory, and his views on benevolence, law and civil liberties, religion, and women. Hobbes’s ideas of authorization and representation, his use of the ‘state of nature’, and his reply to the unjust ‘Foole’ are also critically analyzed. The essays will help readers to orient themselves in the complex scholarly literature while also offering groundbreaking arguments and innovative interpretations. The volume as a whole will facilitate new insights into Hobbes’s political theory, enabling readers to consider key elements of his thought from multiple perspectives and to select and combine them to form their own interpretations of his political philosophy.
- Methodologies of interpreting Hobbes: historical and philosophical, Adrian Blau
- Hobbes’s political-philosophical project: science and subversion, A. P. Martinich
- Hobbes’s philosophical method and the passion of curiosity, Gianni Paganini
- Hobbes, life, and the politics of self-preservation: the role of materialism in Hobbes’s political philosophy, Samantha Frost
- Human nature and motivation: Hamilton versus Hobbes, Michael J. Green
- On benevolence and love of others, Gabriella Slomp
- Interpreting Hobbes’s moral theory: rightness, goodness, virtue, and responsibility, S. A. Lloyd
- Interpreting Hobbes on civil liberties and rights of resistance, Susanne Sreedhar
- Hobbes and Christian belief, Johann Sommerville
- Hobbes on persons and authorization, Paul Weithman
- The character and significance of the state of nature, Peter Vanderschraaf
- Hobbes’s confounding Foole, Michael Byron
- ‘Not a woman-hater’, ‘no rapist’, or even inventor of ‘the sensitive male’? Feminist interpretations of Hobbes’s political theory and their relevance for Hobbes studies, Eva Odzuck
- The productivity of misreading: interpreting Hobbes in a Hobbesian contractarian perspective, Luc Foisneau
Hobbes Studies Volume 32, Issue 1, 2019
Special Issue: The Reception of Hobbes in Germany
A new issue of Hobbes Studies is now available containing the following articles:
Celi Hirata: Subject and Subjectivity in Hobbes and Leibniz
Nathaniel Boyd: The Reception of Hobbes in Germany and the Holy Roman Empire
Daniel Eggers: Hobbes, Kant, and the Universal ‘right to all things’, or Why We Have to Leave the State of Nature
Edgar Straehle: The Problem of Sovereignty: Reading Hobbes through the Eyes of Hannah Arendt
Dirk Brantl: Recent Trends in German Hobbes Scholarship
Olaf Asbach De cive / Vom Bürger, written by Thomas Hobbes
McIlwain D. (2019) The Philosophical Intention and Legacy of Hobbes. In: Michael Oakeshott and Leo Strauss. Recovering Political Philosophy. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-13381-8_5
Abstract: Michael Oakeshott’s engagement with Leo Strauss on Hobbes is known to be an important part of Oakeshott’s development as a thinker, but the extent to which the Hobbes chapter of Strauss’s Natural Right and History forms a response to Oakeshott’s “Introduction to Leviathan” is less well known. McIlwain argues that when taken with Oakeshott’s rejoinder in “The Moral Life in the Writings of Thomas Hobbes” this constitutes the rudiments of a dialogue. Participating in the scholarly return to Hobbes in the 1930s, both thinkers approached Hobbes’s thought on moral grounds. The chapter examines and compares the divergent interpretations in which Strauss detected the origins of modern technological mindset in Hobbes while Oakeshott presented Hobbes as securing the non-substantive civil autonomy for a Renaissance individuality.
A new entry by Marcus Adams on Hobbes’s philosophy of science in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (SEP). Content:
- The Criteria for Scientific Knowledge
- The Use of Mathematics and Hypotheses in Scientific Explanations
- Hobbes on Experimentation: Conflict with Robert Boyle and the Royal Society
- The Prospects for a Science of Civil Philosophy
Feisal G. Mohamed (2018): The Political Theology of Betrayal: Hobbes’ Uzzah, and Schmitt’s Hobbes, in: Journal for Early Modern Cultural Studies, Vol. 18, No. 2, 11-33.
Carl Schmitt’s interest in the writings of Thomas Hobbes is widely known, and clearly visible in Political Theology (1922). This essay explores the relationship between these two thinkers, especially surrounding the “protection- obedience axiom” that Schmitt strongly associated with Hobbes. As is apparent in Hobbes’ responses to the story of Uzzah, protection and obedience are more complex in his writings than might first appear. This essay considers these responses alongside those of John Donne, Richard Hooker, and Lancelot Andrewes. Schmitt tends to overlook this complexity, even as he comes to similar conclusions on the loyal subject’s exposure to the sovereign’s arbitrary violence. We will see that Schmitt is ambivalent about Hobbes, associating him with the advent of legal positivism, the strain of legal theory against which he continually strives. If Political Theology enlists Hobbes as an ally, then, it is on the point of methodology propping up Schmitt’s central argument: that political theory must be grounded in a sociology of the concept of sovereignty.
After abandoning the approach taken in The Elements of Law, Hobbes used De Cive to establish his new civil science on a materialist basis, thus challenging the dualist foundations of Descartes’s mechanical philosophy. This shift is analysed here with close reference to the discontinuity in Hobbes’s use of the concepts of ‘laws of nature’ and ‘right reason’. The article argues that, the descriptive nature of mechanics notwithstanding, De Cive’s foundational aim left civil science with the normative task of producing its own material conditions of possibility until, in Leviathan, Hobbes went as far as reconsidering Plato’s philosophical commitment to political pedagogy.