Monday, April 2, 2007

Thomas Hobbes

On the one hand, he sketches a grim account of man’s natural condition. In it, man is solitary, bereft of metaphysical supports, inclined to misunderstand his interests, prone to violent conflict, and impelled by fear and ignorance to put his trust in superstition, but capable of overcoming his passions, empowering his reason, and preserving himself by conforming to laws of nature that require, among other things, the authorizing of an absolute and indivisible sovereign. On the other hand, Hobbes’s properly constructed state reflects man’s natural freedom and equality, expresses his reason, depends on moral virtues that overlap considerably with Christian and bourgeois morality, yields peace and prosperity, and, though Hobbes did not draw the inference, is capable in a world made small by revolutions in transportation and communication, of justifying foreign interventions to bring the suffering and slaughter of innocents to an end. --Peter Berkowitz, Leviathan Then And Now, Policy Review, October & November 2008 (via Arts & Letters Daily)

The Hobbesian Notion of Self-Preservation Concerning Human Behavior during an Insurgency by Raymond Millen, Parameters, Winter 2006-07
(via Milt's File)

Intellectual Poison: How Thomas Hobbes Ruined Biblical Studies, by Benjamin D. Wiker, Crisis, November 2004

The high price of civil security, review by Sylvana Tomaselli of Aspects of Hobbes, by Noel Malcolm, Spectator, February 1, 2003

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