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.
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.
An introduction to Thomas Hobbes as a systematic and not merely political philosopher. Best known for his contributions to political philosophy, Thomas Hobbes set out to develop a coherent philosophical system extending from logic and natural philosophy to civil and religious philosophy. In this introduction to Hobbes’s thought, Otfried Höffe begins by providing an overview of the entire scope of his work, making clear its systematic character through analysis of his natural philosophy, his individual and social anthropology, and his political thought. He then offers an innovative examination of religious and ecclesiastical questions, touching not only on the political implications of religion so important to Hobbes, but also on his attempt to reconstruct Christianity in terms of a materialistic philosophy. He also explores Hobbes’s continuous critique of Aristotle and Aristotelian Scholastics, in which Höffe argues that Hobbes and Aristotle have much more in common philosophically than is normally supposed—and certainly more than Hobbes himself acknowledged. Finally, Höffe sketches the influence Hobbes had and continues to have on the development of legal and political philosophy. “A thoroughly successful introduction to the philosophy of Thomas Hobbes…” — Reinhard Brandt, in Süddeutsche Zeitung, in praise of the German edition
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.
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.
A collection of more than 30 specially commissioned essays, this volume surveys the work of the 17th-century philosopher-scientist commonly regarded as the founder of modern philosophy, while integrating unique essays detailing the context and impact of his work. Covers the full range of historical and philosophical perspectives on the work of Descartes Discusses his seminal contributions to our understanding of skepticism, mind-body dualism, self-knowledge, innate ideas, substance, causality, God, and the nature of animals Explores the philosophical significance of his contributions to mathematics and science Concludes with a section on the impact of Descartes's work on subsequent philosophers