Canadian Philosophical Association 2019 Book Prize: Arash Abizadeh

The Canadian Philosophical Association has announced that Arash Abizadeh (McGill) has won their 2019 Book Prize for his Hobbes and the Two Face of Ethics (Cambridge, 2018). From the jury report:

This is an outstanding book, one of the best books on early modern philosophy in the past 10 years. It exemplifies how history of philosophy should be done these days, combining mastery of Hobbes’s works and a sophisticated use of the conceptual apparatus of contemporary work on metaethics. The book’s main thesis is that Hobbes’s ethics is best understood on the background of Hobbes’s distinction between (prudential) “reasons of the good” and “reasons of the right” (or justice). Whereas the first comprise natural law, the domain of the second are contractual obligations for which we are accountable to others. As Abizadeh demonstrates, this distinction grounds two kinds of normativity, which he examines in detail. The main challenge for any reader of Hobbes is to understand how normativity fits his materialist and mechanist metaphysics. The author argues with great subtlety that Hobbes’s general metaphysical outlook leaves room for non-reductive analysis of normative properties. This sheds an important new light on Hobbes’s naturalism. Along the way, the book deals with related topics in Hobbes’s ethics such as his account of the good and his concept of personhood. No serious scholar of Hobbes and early modern moral philosophy can ignore this book and it should become an instant classic. Contemporary philosophers, especially those working on metaethics, will also benefit.” (Source)

New Volume: Interpreting Hobbes’s Political Philosophy, edited by S. A. Lloyd (Cambridge University Press)

S. A. Lloyd (ed.) (2019): Interpreting Hobbes’s Political Philosophy, Cambridge University Press

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.

Essays

  1. Methodologies of interpreting Hobbes: historical and philosophical, Adrian Blau
  2. Hobbes’s political-philosophical project: science and subversion, A. P. Martinich
  3. Hobbes’s philosophical method and the passion of curiosity, Gianni Paganini
  4. Hobbes, life, and the politics of self-preservation: the role of materialism in Hobbes’s political philosophy, Samantha Frost
  5. Human nature and motivation: Hamilton versus Hobbes, Michael J. Green
  6. On benevolence and love of others, Gabriella Slomp
  7. Interpreting Hobbes’s moral theory: rightness, goodness, virtue, and responsibility, S. A. Lloyd
  8. Interpreting Hobbes on civil liberties and rights of resistance, Susanne Sreedhar
  9. Hobbes and Christian belief, Johann Sommerville
  10. Hobbes on persons and authorization, Paul Weithman
  11. The character and significance of the state of nature, Peter Vanderschraaf
  12. Hobbes’s confounding Foole, Michael Byron
  13. ‘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
  14. The productivity of misreading: interpreting Hobbes in a Hobbesian contractarian perspective, Luc Foisneau
Hobbes Studies

Hobbes Studies: Special Issue

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

New chapter on Oakeshott’s and Strauss’s 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.

New article on Hobbes’s philosophy of science

https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/hobbes-science/

A new entry by Marcus Adams on Hobbes’s philosophy of science in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (SEP). Content:

  1. The Criteria for Scientific Knowledge
  2. The Use of Mathematics and Hypotheses in Scientific Explanations
  3. Hobbes on Experimentation: Conflict with Robert Boyle and the Royal Society
  4. The Prospects for a Science of Civil Philosophy
    Bibliography

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New Article: The Political Theology of Betrayal: Hobbes’ Uzzah, and Schmitt’s Hobbes

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.

Abstract

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.