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Hobbes Notes - Complete

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University of Toronto St. George
Political Science
Janice Stein

HOBBES: LEVIATHAN 241110 1:35 PM Hobbes. A very different writer, a very different style. The father of liberalism, and therefore of a new moralism and even a new pacifism (antiwar, peace lover) which seems alien to the spirit of the godless and warlike Machiavelli. But even so Ill be trying to persuade you that Hobbes (and liberalism) are best understood as Machiavelli: the Sequel. (ORWIN) He is an intelligent cool dry wind, a great observer of human nature, notices all and sees through alla great debunker. He isnt a misanthrope. All of wounds are self-inflicted. The biggest problems that humans face are psychological. Might think of Hobbes as dr. Phil. the substance of Hobbes consists of the familiar and strange, he offers a liberal argument of despotism. A generally liberal kind of despotism. Hobbes achieves the democratization of Machiavelli and therefore . Hobbes thoroughly debunks the prince and then reproduces it his way, he Is much more our kind of thinker than Machiavelli. In his dedicatory letter, he is following in the footsteps of Machiavelli and cuts down the forests of savages and then constructs his own. Hobbes builds a new way of life and seem only contrary to that of his. But is now really. Letter to Godolphin: P.2 Besideshere he speaks of beasts of Rome. Hobbes is in his own understanding the philosopher who serves common people by serving the pretentions of the rare. How does Hobbes manage to be helpful equally to all regimes and vindicate them, no matter how liberal that regime may be. If you understand this Paradox you understand Hobbes. INTRO: Leviathan , book of Joe CH. 41 LEVIATHAN is introduced as the powerful of all being. He is the proof of ultimate power and judgment , human submission rivaling that of God. (A King over all the Children of the Crowd) A commonwealth is a human imitation of the divine, made by man for himself. The means by which he rivals God. Leviathan: Commonwealth rivals Gods creation. The Prince stands out of the crowd and rules all of us, what about the Leviathan? Its the commonwealth or the political order. We are leviathan and he is us. The State M talks of how the prince gains and loses, states, for Hobbes the sovereign is not a part of the state. The founder of modern constitutionalism. STUDY QUESTION human world is defined by our senses. What we do is in the reaction of the senses. The external world has an impact on our bodies as our senses interact with it. However we have no knowledge of the outside world. Perceptions are constantly changing, but is there any reason to assume things are as we see or experience them? NO. A prison house, no access to the original reality, CH.2- Images are all derived from sense compression, since images are the stuff of our mental discourse, our thought. Two kinds of train of thought, Guided and Unguided. Mere random association, daydreaming if you lik, the relationship depending, on chance. Without any logical association. The regulated train of thought has a strong desire to be regulated, the principle is always exterior, and aversion. There is no serious thought for the pleasure of thinking of knowing, man is a needy and desiring , and craftable being. Man and Beast (the difference): the sense of cause and affect is precise in a beast, reasons back from the affect through the cause. A human moves reasons through cause and effect. Human are naturally multitaskers and we can all reason from the cause to the effect. Mans consciousness of power enhances our power. POWER IS THE KEY TO UNDERSTANDING HOBBES. CH.4 Speech, the greatest of human inventions, something that man possessed by nature and not what Plato and Aristotle described. P.16-17. Speech is a means with which we express our thoughts. We can think of words as a kind of shorthand, the words facilitate the images that are created in our mind. If words are properly strung together. Truth is a property of statements only. Certain things are true and others are false without our knowledge of them. There is no truth in the sense that one could live and die for it. Truth is not an acronym of anything, just propositions. But using it as a synonym to the word Real. CH.5. Hobbes adopts a geometrical model of reason. A quantitative rather than qualitative. Hobbes project of political reason, is to find definitions that are as clear, unambiguous & precise as the Pythagorean theorem. For modern science, a hypothesis has to be stated in mathematical terms, this is what Hobbes is doing,. Is it possible to discuss human matters in terms of unequivocal formulas of mathematical equations?. Arent What is questions controversial? For instance, what is God, what is true love? Etc P.25, 26. Hobbes Motto: knowledge or science for the sake of power. The goal is certainty or agreement, the purpose of speech utility rather than truth. Speech facilitates our practical ends. Hobbes represents the first great attempt to apply science to power. Contemporary political science makes distinction bw facts and values and that facts are only subject to mathematical precision. CH.6- describing 2 basic passions: Appetite and Aversion. Either were attracted to something or repelled by that thing. Also by aversion we signify the absence of the object(p.28 section2), for Hobbes its liberally true to say a positive or a negative orientation towards something. Hobbes relation to Machiavellian thinkers; there is no natural good for human beings. In politics and elsewhere. All humans seek the good(goal) but few achieve it. We all distinguish bw true and false, we all defend our own way of life as good, but according to Hobbes its all nonsense. Hobbes is the great
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