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Summary This category addresses the philosophy of Thomas Hobbes (1588–1679). The most famous aspect of Hobbes's work is his political philosophy, which is explained in Leviathan and elsewhere. But Hobbes, like many philosophers of his day, also worked on a wide variety of other issues. Thus this section includes works that address Hobbes's views on many topics outside political philosophy, including mind, language, and religion.
Key works Hobbes's most famous book, Leviathan, is available in a variety of editions, including MacPherson's Penguin edition, Curley's Hackett edition, which includes translations of variants in the Latin edition, and a new edition of both the English and Latin texts, edited by Malcolm as part of the Clarendon Edition of the works of Hobbes. Other works include (in recent editions and translations) Hobbes 1994, Hobbes 1998, Hobbes 1994, Hobbes 1994, and Hobbes 1981
Introductions Lloyd & Sreedhar 2008 is an introduction to Hobbes's moral and political philosophy.  Duncan 2009 is an introduction to other aspects of Hobbes's philosophy.
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  1. Review of Francesco Cerrato, "Un secolo di passioni e politica. Hobbes, Descartes, Spinoza", DeriveApprodi 2012. [REVIEW]Simone Guidi - 2013 - Lo Sguardo - Rivista di Filosofia 13:435-438.
  2. Hobbes and Prosopopoeia.Jerónimo Rilla - 2022 - Intellectual History Review 32 (2):259-280.
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  3. Absolving God’s Laws: Thomas Hobbes’s Scriptural Strategies.Alison McQueen - forthcoming - Political Theory:009059172210924.
    Thomas Hobbes tells us that he wrote Leviathan to “absolve the divine laws” of the charge that they justify rebellion. This article interprets the argumentative strategy of the second half of Leviathan in light of this intention. Over the course of his three major political works, Hobbes develops a convergent argument to absolve God’s laws. This strategy of judicial rhetoric relies on using multiple independent claims in the hope that one’s audience finds at least one of them persuasive. This was (...)
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  4. Potentia: Hobbes and Spinoza on Power and Popular Politics by Sandra Leonie Field.Justin Steinberg - 2022 - Journal of the History of Philosophy 60 (2):343-345.
    The driving question behind Sandra Leonie Field's exciting new book, Potentia, is: what, exactly, constitutes popular power? Field turns to two seventeenth-century political theorists, Thomas Hobbes and Benedict de Spinoza, to try to extract an account that might avoid Joseph Schumpeter's dismal conclusion that we should abandon all pretenses to popular power. In the process, she exposes problems with recent populist interpretations of Hobbes and Spinoza, showing that both of these figures appreciated the problems with identifying plebiscites with popular power (...)
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  5. International Human Rights Protections Find Support in Hobbes’ Leviathan.Hege Cathrine Finholt - 2022 - Philosophies 7 (3):47.
    In her paper “Sovereignty and the International Protection of Human rights”, Cristina Lafont argues that “The obligation of respecting human rights in the sense of not contributing to their violation seems to be a universal obligation and thus one that binds states just as much as non-state actors.” In this paper, I argue that one can find support for this claim in Thomas Hobbes’ Leviathan. This requires a different reading of Leviathan than the one that is typically performed by realist (...)
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  6. Hobbes’ Wegrationalisierung des Märtyrertums.Ieva Motuzaite - 2022 - Zeitschrift für Religions- Und Geistesgeschichte 74 (2):145-164.
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  7. Catanzaro, Andrea. Politics Through the Iliad and the Odyssey: Hobbes Writes Homer.Luca Iori - 2022 - Hobbes Studies 35 (1):97-107.
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  8. The Elements of Law: Manuscripts and the Short Parliament.Johann Sommerville - 2022 - Hobbes Studies 35 (1):90-96.
    There are eleven known manuscripts of Hobbes’s Elements of Law. As they divide on textual grounds into two groups, they are effectively two separate editions, employing two different texts. While two of the manuscripts apparently were Hobbes’s working copies, it also seems clear that he never definitively established the text of the Elements. There are reasons for thinking it unlikely that, as has been suggested, Hobbes intended the work to influence debate in the Short Parliament. More likely, he hoped his (...)
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  9. Guest Editors’ Introduction.Daniel J. Kapust & Brandon Turner - 2022 - Hobbes Studies 35 (1):1-6.
    Hobbes Studies presents a special issue dedicated to the career and work of Professor Johann Sommerville on the occasion of his retirement. This introduction provides a brief overview of Sommerville’s professional achievements and the major themes of his scholarly work over the past forty years. It closes with a very brief summary of the contributions made in his honor.
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  10. Hobbes and the Indirect Workings of Political Consent.Laetitia Ramelet - forthcoming - Hobbes Studies:1-21.
    This paper brings to light an unexplored aspect of Hobbes’s argument that political authority rests upon subjects’ consent. Consent enacts a transfer of subjects’ right of nature to the sovereign, yet she already possesses a natural right to everything. What moral difference, then, does this make to her possession of power, and how? In my reading, the difference lies in the rise of new obligations befalling the sovereign by means of an indirect mechanism: That many individuals, hoping for safety, transfer (...)
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  11. Hackenbracht, Ryan. National Reckonings: The Last Judgment and Literature in Milton’s England.Victor Lenthe - 2022 - Hobbes Studies 35 (1):108-114.
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  12. Hobbes’s Theory of Responsibility as Support for Sommerville’s Argument Against Hobbes’s Approval of Independency.S. A. Lloyd - 2022 - Hobbes Studies 35 (1):51-66.
    Just as some types of philosophical analysis are more useful than others to historians or political scientists, so, I find, are some sorts of historical research more useful to philosophers than are other sorts. Sommerville makes history useful to non-historians by clarifying the large-scale historical background against which his investigative questions are posed, and then separating out crucial figures, ideas, and events from arcana of interest primarily to specialist historians. His interpretations are relatively neutral, striking a welcome balance between mere (...)
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  13. Hobbes Reenvisions Hebraic and Christian History.Mary Nyquist - 2022 - Hobbes Studies 35 (1):67-89.
    In this essay, I examine Hobbes’s interpretation of Scriptural passages that figure prominently in contemporaneous political debates. Hobbes’s interpretative practices affirm his major systematic aims but also contribute to his inventive reenvisioning of Hebraic and Christian political history. The privileged position Hobbes gives Hebraic forms of rule together with his treatment of I Samuel 8 are motivated, in part, by a need to counter Aristotle’s influence on an exegetical tradition that opposes monarchy-as-tyranny in connection with this central, much-debated text. Hobbes (...)
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  14. The History of Political Thought Above All.Cesare Cuttica - 2022 - Hobbes Studies 35 (1):7-22.
    Well-known for his work on absolutism, divine right theory, and his contextual reading of Hobbes’ ideas, Sommerville also published successful critical editions of Sir Robert Filmer and King James vi and I’s political writing. Sommerville’s engagement in key historiographical debates on early- modern British history, involving “opposing camps” of revisionists and post-revisionists, is less explored. Here, I focus on the question whether pre-Civil War England was immune to ideological conflict or, instead, featured a confrontation between King and Parliament based on (...)
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  15. The Elements of Law and Hobbes’s Purpose.Ioannis Evrigenis - 2022 - Hobbes Studies 35 (1):36-50.
    The unauthorized 1650 publication of The Elements of Law broke Hobbes’s treatise into two parts that were inconsistent with his own division of the work. This obscured what is arguably the most important insight into Hobbes’s method: his account of how human beings use language to instigate and appease others. I review the evidence of how the publication history of the Elements resulted in a break between I.13 and I.14 that Hobbes did not intend. I then argue that as the (...)
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  16. Ideological Context and the Study of Political Theory.Xinzhi Zhao - 2022 - Hobbes Studies 35 (1):23-35.
    This paper recounts my encounter with the ideological context of Hobbes’s system as a graduate student in political theory through the teaching and scholarship of Professor Johann Sommerville. This encounter made me recognize that political theorists should study not only systems of political philosophy but also their ideological contexts, whose primary components are not “languages” but ideas and arguments deployed in debates concerning issues of political legitimacy of a particular time. Specifically, I realized that incorporating ideological contexts into the study (...)
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  17. Hobbes : Le pouvoir entre domination et resistance.Yves Charles Zarka & Liang Pang (eds.) - 2022 - Librairie Philosophique J. Vrin.
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  18. Private Property, Freedom and Order: Social Contract Theories From Hobbes to Rawls.Mehmet Kanatli - 2021 - Routledge India.
    This book looks at how the ideas of freedom, property, and order are expressed in modern social contract theories. Drawing on the theories of Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, and Rawls, it studies how notions of freedom promulgated by these SCTs invariably legitimise and defend the private ownership of the means of production. It argues that capitalism's impact on individual dependence and economic inequality still stems from this model, ultimately working in favour of proprietors. The author highlights the problematic nature of SCTs, (...)
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  19. Politics Through the Iliad and the Odyssey: Hobbes Writes Homer.Andrea Catanzaro - 2019 - Routledge.
    Facing censorship and being confined to the fringes of the political debate of his time, Thomas Hobbes turned his attention to translating Homer's Iliad and the Odyssey from Greek into English. Many have not considered enough the usefulness of these translations. In this book, Andrea Catanzaro analyses the political value of Hobbes' translations of Homer's works and exposes the existence of a link between the translations and the previous works of the Malmesbury philosopher. In doing so, he asks: * What (...)
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  20. El problema eclesiológico-político del Leviatán en contexto.Marta García-Alonso - 2022 - Araucaria 24 (49).
    This paper discusses the reach of ecclesiastical power in Hobbes' Leviathan, examining how the State acquires some of the roles traditionally played by the Church. I will first contextualize historically the ecclesiological debates on which Leviathan draws. Then, I will examine the essential role Hobbes assigns to the king in the governance of the church. Although Hobbes' political theology is often deemed atheist, in Leviathan the king becomes the institutional head of the Church. Moreover, he should establish a minimal Christian (...)
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  21. Thomas Hobbes.Gabriella Slomp - 2008 - Routledge.
    This collection brings together the most significant and influential articles on Hobbes that have been published in the twentieth century. It aims at capturing the trend of fragmentation of Hobbes studies.
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  22. Thomas Hobbes: Leviathan.Thomas Hobbes & Marshall Missner - 2008 - Routledge.
  23. The Discourse of Sovereignty, Hobbes to Fielding: The State of Nature and the Nature of the State.Stuart Sim & David Walker - 2003 - Routledge.
    In this new study the authors examine a range of theories about the state of nature in seventeenth- and eighteenth-century England, considering the contribution they made to the period's discourse on sovereignty and their impact on literary activity. Texts examined include Leviathan, Oceana, Paradise Lost, Discourses Concerning Government, Two Treatises on Government, Don Sebastian, Oronooko, The New Atalantis, Robinson Crusoe, Dissertation upon Parties, David Simple, and Tom Jones. The state of nature is identified as an important organizing principle for narratives (...)
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  24. Authority and the Liberal Tradition: From Hobbes to Rorty.Robert Heineman - 1994 - Routledge.
    Authority and the Liberal Tradition critically describes the historical foundations of modern liberalism, implicitly analyzing the status and effectiveness of American democracy. Heineman examines contemporary liberal ideology, which he argues undermines the normative basis of social stability that was an important element in the classical liberal tradition. He shows how American government has become hostage to ideology, to the advocacy of interest-group politics.
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  25. Virtues and Rights: The Moral Philosophy of Thomas Hobbes.R. E. Ewin - 1991 - Routledge.
    This book is a timely interpretation of the moral and political philosophy of Thomas Hobbes. Staying close to Hobbes's text and working from a careful examination of the actual substance of the account of natural law, R. E. Ewin argues that Hobbes well understood the importance of moral behavior to civilized society. This interpretation stands as a much-needed corrective to readings of Hobbes that emphasize the rationally calculated, self-interested nature of human behavior. It poses a significant challenge to currently fashionable (...)
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  26. The Two Bodies of Hobbes and Rousseau.Sarita Zaffini - forthcoming - The European Legacy:1-30.
    Hobbes and Rousseau relied heavily upon the time-worn metaphor of the body politic to describe and explain their respective political visions. But while Rousseau’s use of the metaphor is largely ac...
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  27. Personality, Authority, and Self-Esteem in Hobbes’s Leviathan.Lars Vinx - 2022 - Intellectual History Review 32 (1):135-155.
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  28. Hobbes, Kant Og Fredens Problem.Arne Overrein - 2006 - Agora 24 (4):43-79.
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  29. Hobbes in France, Gallican Histories, and Leviathan's Supreme Pastor.Amy Chandran - forthcoming - Modern Intellectual History:1-29.
    Few of the recent treatments exploring Leviathan's dramatic expansion of ecclesiological considerations have delved into the political circumstances that furnished Hobbes's immediate Parisian surroundings, as he penned the work during the 1640s. This paper examines French ecclesial debates that were triggered by the publication of a polemical collection of texts narrating the “rights and liberties of the Gallican church.” Many of the tracts included had been written during the accession crisis of the late sixteenth century, and advocated a sacralized view (...)
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  30. Divisão Do Trabalho E Apologia da Ordem Em Thomas Hobbes E Norbert Elias.Anderson Alves Esteves - 2020 - Educação E Filosofia 33 (68):747-782.
    Divisão do trabalho e apologia da ordem em Thomas Hobbes e Norbert Elias Resumo: O artigo expõe os juízos afirmativos granjeados por Thomas Hobbes e Norbert Elias a respeito da divisão do trabalho e de suas relações com a ordem social, a despeito das diferenças de métodos e de métricas dos autores em pauta. De Thomas Hobbes, recolhe-se a demonstração, com subjacência no raciocínio hipotético-dedutivo do filósofo inglês, de que, do indivíduo, palmilha-se à sociedade, do contrato que edifica o Estado, (...)
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  31. COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS OF SOCIAL CONTRACT THEORY BY THOMAS HOBBES AND JOHN LOCKE.Levon Babajanyan & Hamlet Simonyan - 2019 - In EUROPEAN UNIVERSITY: COLLECTION OF SCIENTIFIC ARTICLES. Yerevan, Armenia: pp. 296-302.
    The article presents a basic perception regarding social contract theory which is considered to be one of the most well-known and influential theories in western political philosophy. By exploring the concepts of social contract theory suggested by Thomas Hobbes and John Locke, an attempt is made to reveal various features and characteristics of the natural state. The article discusses the general description of the state of nature as well as the process of establishing a social contract as a means of (...)
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  32. A Commonwealth for Galileo.Elad Carmel - forthcoming - Hobbes Studies:1-24.
    A Hobbesian utopia might sound paradoxical. Hobbes never prescribed a utopia per se, and he is well-known for his practical and pragmatic approach to human nature and to politics. Yet, this article identifies several utopian elements in Hobbes, starting with the ways in which his contemporaries thought of his work as utopian. Following Galileo and others, Hobbes might have been part of a utopian moment, or at least believed that he was, especially due to his novel and historic philosophy. Behind (...)
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  33. The Located Subject of Thought: Hobbes, Descartes, More.Tad M. Schmaltz - 2022 - Revue de Métaphysique et de Morale 1:3-19.
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  34. Cicero and Hobbes on the Person of the State.Marko Simendic - 2022 - Filozofija I Društvo 33 (1):247-262.
    The importance of Thomas Hobbes?s account of personation and representation can hardly be overstated. And his intellectual debt to one of his classical foes, Marcus Tullius Cicero, can hardly be ignored. This paper compares Hobbes?s ideas on personhood of the state with Cicero?s notion of persona civitatis, and attempts to describe how Hobbes reshaped Cicero?s guidelines for presenting legitimate authority into a prop for defending any effective authority. Hobbes absorbs Cicero?s influential argument and builds on the idea of civic representation (...)
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  35. The Wisdom of Mentor.Jesse Norman - 2022 - Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 91:271-280.
    Thomas Hobbes posited a social contract which legitimates sovereign authority. But what grounds, or could ground, such a contract? Through reflection on Oakeshott, and on Aristotle's Nichomachean Ethics, the paper argues for a so far unrecognised mode of human association: philic association. It briefly considers a possible expression of philic association in the history of English law, before making the case for programmes of mentoring as a policy both reflective and supportive of this mode. It ends by suggesting that the (...)
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  36. Hobbes and Spinoza on Sovereign Education.Boleslaw Z. Kabala & Thomas Cook - 2022 - Philosophies 7 (6):6.
    Most comparisons of Thomas Hobbes and Baruch Spinoza focus on the difference in understanding of natural right. We argue that Hobbes also places more weight on a rudimentary and exclusive education of the public by the state. We show that the difference is related to deeper disagreements over the prospect of Enlightenment. Hobbes is more sanguine than Spinoza about using the state to make people rational. Spinoza considers misguided an overemphasis on publicly educating everyone out of superstition—public education is important, (...)
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  37. Chapter 9 ‘‘The War Has Not Ended’’: Thomas Hobbes, Carl Schmitt, and the Paradoxes of Countersovereignty.Friedrich Balke - 2022 - In Miguel Vatter (ed.), Crediting God: Sovereignty and Religion in the Age of Global Capitalism. Fordham University Press. pp. 177-189.
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  38. Hobbes, la coutume et la Common Law.Christophe Béal - 2020 - Noesis 34:29-42.
    The classic theory of Common Law is based on the idea of a law derived from immemorial customs that guide judges’ decisions and contribute to the continuity and stability of the legal order. Hobbes, in his criticism of Edward Coke, questions the legal principles that characterize the “spirit of Common Law”. In his view, it is authority and not use that makes the law. This Hobbesian criticism, which can be considered as one of the ­sources of positivist interpretation of customary (...)
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  39. Of Gods and Clocks: Free Will and Hobbes-Bramhall Debate.Paul Russell - 2021 - In Recasting Hume and Early Modern Philosophy: Selected Essays. New York, NY, USA: pp. 133-157.
    Contrary to John Bramhall and critics like him, Thomas Hobbes takes the view that no account of liberty or freedom can serve as the relevant basis on which to distinguish moral from nonmoral agents or explains the basis on which an agent becomes subject to law and liable to punishment. The correct compatibilist strategy rests, on Hobbes’s account, with a proper appreciation and description of the contractualist features that shape and structure the moral community. From this perspective human agents may (...)
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  40. Thomas Hobbes.Norbert Campagna - 2021 - In Norbert Campagna, Oliver Hidalgo & Skadi Siiri Krause (eds.), Tocqueville-Handbuch: Leben – Werk – Wirkung. J.B. Metzler. pp. 114-116.
    Auch wenn man davon ausgehen kann, dass Tocqueville von Hobbes gehört hatte und dass er auch zumindest die vom englischen Philosophen vertretenen Hauptthesen kannte – etwa über Arthur de Gobineau –, so ist nicht ganz klar, ob er ein Werk von Hobbes gelesen hatte. In der ersten Démocratie erwähnt er zwar ausdrücklich den homo puer robustus, der im De Cive von Hobbes auftaucht, aber es scheint eher so zu sein, dass Tocqueville diese Hobbessche Charakterisierung des Menschen nur indirekt über Rousseaus (...)
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  41. Elisabeth and Descartes Read Machiavelli in the Time of Hobbes.Gianni Paganini - 2021 - In Sabrina Ebbersmeyer & Sarah Hutton (eds.), Elisabeth of Bohemia : A Philosopher in Her Historical Context. Springer Verlag. pp. 109-126.
    While most scholars who have discussed the letters of Elisabeth and Descartes exchanged in 1646 on the subject of the Prince focused on Descartes, whether he was Machiavellian or not, I shall deal here more in depth with the position of Elisabeth. I shall address then four main points: the so-called “methodological” question raised by Descartes about the Prince and quickly dismissed by Elisabeth; the issue of political realism, that is one of the great themes of Machiavelli’s thought; the problem (...)
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  42. Triumphs of the Mind. Hobbes and the Ambivalences of Glory.Barbara Carnevali - 2021 - In Paola Giacomoni, Nicolò Valentini & Sara Dellantonio (eds.), The Dark Side: Philosophical Reflections on the “Negative Emotions”. Springer Verlag. pp. 119-138.
    The chapter analyses the Hobbesian conception of glory. This passion embodies the tendency for empowerment and social competition of the modern self whose motive will be defined as the “desire for recognition”. Hobbes places at the core of his analysis of the human passions the need for recognition, conceived as a never-satisfied desire, as it depends on an endless escalation in the quest for power: the glorious self asks the other self to be recognized as superior, but is unwilling to (...)
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  43. Hobbes and Hume on Human Nature: “Much of a Dispute of Words?”.Alexandra Chadwick - 2021 - In Marcus P. Adams (ed.), A Companion to Hobbes. pp. 463-477.
    According to Hume, the question of the “dignity” or “meanness” of human nature comes down to a comparison of its “different motives or actuating principles”: that is, whether “our selfish and vicious principles” are “predominant above our social and virtuous” (Hume 1987, 84). Hume was responding in part to Hobbes, and comparison between the two philosophers on this question is common, with Hobbes placed on the “selfish” side, and Hume on the other. But, as Hume immediately goes on to say, (...)
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  44. CRÍTICA À LEITURA DE HANS KELSEN SOBRE A FILOSOFIA DO DIREITO DE THOMAS HOBBES.Rubin Souza - 2014 - Revista da AJURIS 41 (133):303-318.
    O artigo analisa a leitura crítica de Hans Kelsen acerca da concepção jurídico-política de Thomas Hobbes, considerando críticas posteriores à própria interpretação de Kelsen. Para tanto, investigou-se primeiramente a posição de Kelsen sobre o jusnaturalismo buscando esclarecer conceitos centrais como os do ser e dever-ser e como o autor os associa a Hobbes. Nesse sentido, observouse a limitação da leitura de Kelsen em relação à filosofia jurídica do autor – uma doutrina jusnaturalista metafísica, tendo na regra de ouro o fundamento (...)
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  45. Théories sémiotiques à l’âge classique.Hélène Leblanc - 2021 - Paris: Vrin.
    La scolastique tardive, au début du XVIIe siècle, est le théâtre d’un débat sur la définition du signe, qui se traduit par la division entre signum formale et signum instrumentale. Le premier est l’écho de la tendance médiévale à comprendre les concepts comme des signes. Le second correspond à une définition qui remonte à Augustin, selon laquelle le signe est une chose sensible qui doit être connue pour porter à la connaissance de quelque chose d’autre. Se démarquant de la voie (...)
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  46. Leyes de naturaleza o ¿cómo las personas preparan su carácter para soportar el Estado civil?Christian Núñez - 2021 - Eidos: Revista de Filosofía de la Universidad Del Norte 35:349-373.
    Resumen En el Leviatán Hobbes implementa la ley de naturaleza como la condición de posibilidad del desarrollo epistemológico que convierte al animal en humano, en el estado de naturaleza. De acuerdo con esta fórmula, la moral se desarrolla cuando los hombres empiezan a comportarse de acuerdo con el contenido no explícito de las leyes de naturaleza, comportamiento posibilitado por su sujeción a un hombre fuerte, quien tiene la función moral de administrar justicia. Esta doble función moral de las leyes de (...)
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  47. Reseña -Quentin Skinner (2010): Hobbes y la Libertad Republicana Bernal (Buenos Aires): Universidad Nacional de Quilmes y Editorial Prometeo, 191 Pp. [REVIEW]Alejandro Molina - 2016 - Apuntes Filosóficos 25 (48):184-196.
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  48. Harrington and Hobbes: Between Political Philosophy and Political Science.Alejandro Molina - 2016 - Apuntes Filosóficos 25 (48):96-121.
    In the following article we will discuss the methodology and presentation of arguments to prescribe a theory of better governance exposed by two eminent thinkers of politics as they were James Harrington and Thomas Hobbes. Then, we contrast the theoretical development of both authors under the conceptions of political philosophy and political science exposed by Giovanni Sartori and Norberto Bobbio. We conclude with a critique of a seated prejudice in some academic circles of political science.
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  49. Thomas Hobbes’s Substantially Constrained Absolutism: The Fundamental Law of the Commonwealth as a Substantial Constraint on the Sovereign’s Power.Facundo Rodriguez - 2021 - Jurisprudence 12 (4):447-465.
    In this essay, I contend that the usually neglected Fundamental Law of the Commonwealth, which commands that the essential rights of the sovereign be retained by the sovereign, imposes substantial...
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  50. "Cavendish and Hobbes on Causation".Marcy P. Lascano - 2021 - In A Companion to Hobbes. Hoboken, NJ, USA: pp. 413-430.
    This chapter examines the connections between Hobbes’s and Cavendish’s accounts of causation. Eileen O’Neill and Marcus Adams have argued that Hobbes and Cavendish share the same notion of entire causes as necessary and sufficient for producing their effects. While this account is well-suited to Hobbes’s mechanical account of causation, O’Neill worries that this claim collapses Cavendish’s account of occasional causation into full on occasionalism. I argue that a close analysis of Cavendish’s views on the role of external objects in perception (...)
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