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.
You might also like
New Article: War by Other Means? Incentives for Power Seekers in Thomas Hobbes’s Political Philosophy
European Hobbes Society
The European Hobbes Society is an international and interdisciplinary research network, which aims to promote scholarship on the thought of Thomas Hobbes.
Except where otherwise noted, content on this site is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.