Fantasies of Death and Demons: Hobbes Against the Ontological Illusion

Abstract
Hobbes is commonly taken as arguing that individuals are primarily motivated by a fear of violent death. In this paper, I argue that, for Hobbes, people come with a wide range of fears and desires; analyzing how to redirect these into the politically stabilizing fear of death is a central preoccupation of Leviathan. One of the main problems is managing what I call the “ontological illusion,” the constitutive human tendency to take presentations of the imagination as entities in the world. I first assess the textual evidence for and against the violent death reading. I then offer a reading of Hobbes’s psychology that underscores the diversity of human affective states. In the third section, I assess Hobbes’s neglected chapter on demonology – theories of witchcraft – as demonstrating both the need to manage the ontological illusion and the Hobbesian strategy for doing so.
Keywords Hobbes  Fear  Demonology  Witchcraft  Imagination
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index Translate to english
 
Download options
PhilPapers Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 10,738
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Similar books and articles
Gordon Hull (2006). Hobbes's Radical Nominalism. Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy 11 (1):201-223.
Analytics

Monthly downloads

Added to index

2011-11-08

Total downloads

19 ( #87,204 of 1,098,667 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

2 ( #174,018 of 1,098,667 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature


Discussion
Start a new thread
Order:
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.