Hobbes' philosophy is one of the high points of a century of great philosophical achievement and Leviathan is recognized as one of the great classics of political theory. But the response from Hobbes's contemporaries to his secular analysis of society demonstrated the challenging nature of his ideas. This collection of many of the major contemporary responses to his thought by leading figures, mostly never republished, provides an outstanding source for assessing his immediate impact and the long-term importance of his work.
Thomas Hobbes, one of the most important figures in the history of political philosophy, is still widely regarded as a predominantly secular thinker. Yet a great deal of his political thought was motivated by the need to address problems of a distinctively religious nature. This is the first collection of essays dedicated to the complex and rich intersections between Hobbes's political and religious thought. Written by experts in the field, the volume opens up new directions for thinking about his treatment of religion as a political phenomenon and the political dimensions of his engagement with Christian doctrines and their history. The chapters investigate his strategies for showing how his provocative political positions could be accepted by different religious audiences for whom fidelity to religious texts was of crucial importance, while also considering the legacy of his ideas and examining their relevance for contemporary concerns. Some chapters do so by pursuing mainly historical inquiries about the motives and circumstances of Hobbes's writings, while others reconstruct the logic of his arguments and test their philosophical coherence. They thus offer wide-ranging and sometimes conflicting assessments of Hobbes's ideas, yet they all demonstrate how closely intertwined his political and religious preoccupations are and thereby showcase how this perspective can help us to better understand his thought.
Noel Malcolm, one of the world's leading experts on Thomas Hobbes, presents a set of extended essays on a wide variety of aspects of the life and work of this giant of early modern thought. Malcolm offers a succinct introduction to Hobbes's life and thought, as a foundation for his discussion of such topics as his political philosophy, his theory of international relations, the development of his mechanistic world-view, and his subversive Biblical criticism. Several of the essays pay special attention to the European dimensions of Hobbes's life, his sources and his influence; the longest surveys the entire European reception of his work from the 1640s to the 1750s. All the essays are based on a deep knowledge of primary sources, and many present striking new discoveries about Hobbes's life, his manuscripts, and the printing history of his works. Aspects of Hobbes will be essential reading not only for Hobbes specialists, but also for all those interested in seventeenth-century intellectual history more generally, both British and European.
Can the use of force first against a less-than-imminent threat be both morally acceptable and consistent with American values? This book offers historical examination of the use of preemptive and preventive force through the lens of the just war tradition.
During the latter half of his life, David Hume (1711-1776) achieved international celebrity status as a great philosopher and historian. The sceptical and anti-religious bent of his works generated hundreds of critical responses, many of which were scholarly commentaries. Other writers, though, focused less on Hume's specific publications and more on his reputation as a famous public figure. Wittingly or unwittingly, Hume was involved in many controversies: the attempts to excommunicate him from the Church of Scotland; his paradoxically close association with several Scottish clergymen; his quarrel with Jean Jacques Rousseau; his approach to his own death. Hume's enemies attacked his public character while his allies defended it. Friends and foes alike recorded anecdotes about him which appeared after his death in scattered periodicals and books. Hume's biographers have drawn liberally on this material, but in most cases the original sources are only summarized or briefly quoted. This set presents dozens of these biographically-related discussions of Hume in their most complete form, reset, annotated and introduced by James Fieser. The editor also provides the most detailed bibliographies yet compiled of Hume's writings and the early responses to them. These two volumes form the final part of the major "Early Responses to Hume" series, and they conclude with an index to the complete ten-volume collection. Like earlier sets in the series, these books should be welcomed by historians and Hume scholars all over the world, and research libraries should see them as important additions to holdings on the Scottish Enlightenment.
In 1741, Hume published his Essays, Moral and Political, making a lasting impact on political, economic and aesthetic theory. This collection gathers together over seventy important early responses to Hume's moral theory and Essays, including articles by Adam Smith, James Beattie, Jeremy Bentham, Joseph Priestley, Thomas Malthus and Thomas Reid.