Hobbes

Front Cover
Psychology Press, 2005 - Biography & Autobiography - 261 pages
1 Review

Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679) was the first great English philosopher and one of the most important theorists of human nature and politics in the history of Western thought.

This superlative introduction presents Hobbes' main doctrines and arguments, covering all of Hobbes' philosophy. A.P. Martinich begins with a helpful overview of Hobbes' life and work, setting his ideas against the political and scientific background of seventeenth-century England. He then introduces and assesses, in clear chapters, Hobbes' contributions to fundamental areas of philosophy:

  • epistemology and metaphysics, in particular Hobbes' materialism and determinism and his relation to Descartes
  • ethics and political philosophy, concentrating on Hobbes' most famous work, Leviathan, and the theory of the social contract it advances
  • philosophy of science, logic and language, considering Hobbes' theory of nominalism and his writing on rhetoric and the uses of language;
  • religion, examining Hobbes' analyses of revelation, prophets and miracles.

The final chapter considers the legacy of Hobbes' thought and his influence on contemporary philosophy.

  

What people are saying - Write a review

Hobbes: a biography

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Hobbes's position as one of the founders and leading theorists of modern political philosophy has been established for some time. His connections with leading thinkers of his day, as well as his ... Read full review

Selected pages

Contents

Life
1
Early Life
4
Science and International Relations
7
Political Views
15
Religious Mathematical and Scientific Disputes
18
Further Reading
23
Metaphysics and Mind
24
Conatus
28
The Properties of a Sovereign
128
Political Liberty
131
The Dissolution of the Commonwealth
132
The Value of Hobbess Philosophy
135
Conclusion
136
Language Logic and Science
137
Names
141
Signification and Denotation
144

Mechanism
30
Determinism
31
Mind
33
Imagination
35
Mental Discource
37
Desire Appetite Aversion
38
The Importance of Desires
44
Free Will
47
Conclusion
53
Moral Philosophy
54
Good and Evil
57
The State of Nature
63
Equality
65
The Right of Nature
77
Liberty
79
The Definition of the Law of Nature
80
The Deduction of the Laws of Nature
86
Laws and Propositional Form
97
Other Laws of Nature
98
When Do the Laws Apply?
100
The Fool
101
Conclusion
105
Further Reading
106
Political Philosophy
107
Persons
112
Authorization and Alienation
115
Sovereignty by Acquisition
125
Speech Acts
146
Definitions
147
Necessary and Contingent Propositions
150
The Value of Philosophy
151
The Scope and Definition of Philosophy
153
The Unity of Science
172
Conclusion
174
Further Reading
175
Religion
176
Revelation Prophets and Miracles
179
Faith
185
Religion Superstition and True Religion
187
The Causes of Religion
191
The Causes of the Decline of Religion
198
The Nature of God and Language about Him
200
Conclusion
206
Further Reading
207
Hobbes Today
208
Scholarship after 1975
214
Conclusion
235
Further Reading
237
Glossary
238
Notes
240
Bibliography
248
Index
255
Copyright

Common terms and phrases

References to this book

All Book Search results »

About the author (2005)

A.P.Martinich is Professor of philosophy at the University of Texas, Austin. He is the author of A Hobbes Dictionary (Blackwell, 1995), Hobbes: A Biography (CUP, 2000) and the editor of Philosophy of Language (OUP, 2000).

Bibliographic information