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Lecture 7

Lec7: leviathan ch 1-10

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University of Toronto St. George
Political Science
Janice Stein

POL200Y1 Lecture 7: Leviathan, Chapters 1-10 Instructor: Professor C. Orwin Hobbes is a cool, dry wind, Hobbes is a great observer of human nature He notices all and sees through all He explodes all of our flattery of ourselves and our deception of others He is not bitter, but philanthropic, his goals to save us from ourselves by showing us that all of our worst wounds are self inflicted If we have to get a grip on the world, we must begin by getting a grip on ourselves Modern founder of psychology Two main reasons why students have trouble with Hobbes: Wrote in the english of his day 17 century (long complicated sentences) The substance of Hobbes consists of a mixture of the familiar and the strange, and there is a strange twist to the familiar conclusions. He provides a liberal argument for despotism, but we have to understand that this is a new kind of despotism, and that Hobbes arguments only require the slightest modifications to be arguments for liberal democracy He achieves the liberalization of Machiavelli Hobbes proceeds to reinvent the Prince as the faithful servant of the people (concerning himself entirely with their welfare) Hobbes is much more our sort of thinker than Machiavelli In Machiavellis Discourse, he likens himself to Columbus in his dedicatory. Presenting himself as the great new discoverer of the mind Out of the Machiavellian materials of thought, Hobbes builds a new way of life that is contrary to Machiavelli What had happened in between Hobbes coming a century and a half after Machiavelli. Well, there was the reformation, and the continent was swept by global international wars and civil wars. Also was the emergence of modern science (Francis Bacon one of the most profound of them, a student of Machiavelli and a friend of Hobbes). Modern science was materialistic and mathematical, so we see this in Hobbes, who is materialistic and obsessed with mathematical! He wished to bring the universal agreement that geometry brought to the world of politics Dedicatory Letter Hobbes begins Leviathan with a dedicatory letter to Francis Godolphin He mentions simple creatures that he likens himself to. They were geese. This is wonderful modesty and irony on Hobbes part Hobbes is in his own understanding, the non -thinking persons thinking person! He promises to offer an argument that fully vindicates every regime against its attackers (both external and internal) E.g. If your the republic of Iran set by a massive Zion conspiracy, Hobbes is your goose!
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