Lessons from a Materialist Thinker: Hobbesian Reflections on Ethics and Politics
Thomas Hobbes is an iconic figure who serves as an easy reference for pundits commenting on the brutality of war as well as for critics of a distinctly modern individualism in which calculating and rapacious self-interest is the cause of the violence, destruction, and exploitation endemic to the contemporary world. Frost's reading of Hobbes's philosophy shows us that underlying such visions of self and politics is another iconic figure: that of the Cartesian subject. What gives the iconic Hobbes his hardcore individualism and its corollary accounts of instrumentalism, conflict, and absolutism is a Cartesian rendering of the self as split into mind and body. Carefully elaborating Hobbes's materialist ontology, Lessons from a Materialist Thinker challenges both our implicit Cartesian assumptions about the self and the commonplace Hobbes that so readily figures violence in our political imagination. Through his materialism, Hobbes presents an alternative modern account of self-consciousness, reason, agency, power, freedom, and responsibility. In doing so, he shows that our fundamental intersubjectivity and interdependence require that we pursue peace above all else.
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According to Hobbes According to Hobbes's account of thinking activity agent analysis appetite Bramhall Bramhall's causal determinants causal forces chapter complex conceive conception consequences context covenant deliberation Descartes Descartes's determined distinct dualism effect elaboration entails ethical ethical and political event experience fact Hobbes argues Hobbes claims Hobbes contends Hobbes explains Hobbes says Hobbes suggests Hobbes's account Hobbes's argument Hobbes's materialism Hobbes's materialist Hobbes's philosophy Hobbesian honoring imagination individual's individuals insights interactions interdependence intersubjectivity Jacques Derrida language laws of nature Leviathan memory metonymic shifts mind motions that constitute movement Niklas Luhmann object one's onymic organs particular passions passive power peace perceive person phantasms pineal gland possible pursuit of power put the point ratiocination rational reason relations relationship reputation response Samuel Weber sense perception sensory percepts simply social Sorell Sorell's soul sovereign power Spinoza stimuli tasms temporal things thinking-body Thomas Hobbes thoughts tion vital motion words