Hobbes and the Artifice of Eternity by Christopher Scott McClure

By Christopher Scott McClure

Thomas Hobbes argues that the phobia of violent loss of life is the main trustworthy ardour on which to stumbled on political society. His position in shaping the modern view of faith and honor within the West is pivotal, but his rules are famously riddled with contradictions. during this step forward research, McClure reveals proof that Hobbes' obvious inconsistencies are intentional, a part of a worldly rhetorical technique intended to make guy extra terrified of demise than he evidently is. Hobbes subtly undermined of the main robust manifestations of man's wish for immortality: the spiritual trust in an afterlife and the secular hope for everlasting reputation via honor. McClure argues that Hobbes purposefully stirred up controversy, upsetting his adversaries into attacking him and unwittingly spreading his message. This examine will attract students of Hobbes, political theorists, historians of early smooth political notion and someone attracted to the genesis of recent Western attitudes towards mortality.

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25 Aristotle simply continued and reinforced this tradition, as did Cicero and others. Note here that the Athenians were convinced of this teaching because it had been taught, not because it made sense. Hobbes thought it was possible, in other words, to convince a whole population of an erroneous doctrine by the simple fact that it had been taught to them. At least in Hobbes’s telling, the superiority of democracy was accepted without any arguments worthy of the name. ”28 One way of summing up Hobbes’s fundamental criticism of Aristotle, even though he never says so in so many words, is that Aristotle was blind to the actual effect his philosophy would have outside the realm of philosophical speculation.

Hobbes (2012, 260). 44 The Effectual Truth of Hobbes’s Rhetoric secretly instructing the reader The passion Hobbes claims he is most worried about is pride. ”49 The Leviathan is meant to be, “a king over all the children of pride” (Job 41:34). The pride of glory seekers in the state of nature is the chief cause of the war of all against all. It is not, though, only those who resort to violence for the sake of glory who are susceptible to pride. In the opening of De Cive, Hobbes says that there is something about civil science, in particular, that makes those who have it, or think they have it, extremely proud: What most contributes to its dignity is that those who think they possess it or are in a position where they ought to possess it, are so very pleased with themselves for the semblance of it which they do possess, that they will gladly allow specialists in the other sciences to be considered intelligent, learned and erudite, and to be called so, but they never want them to be called Statesmen.

Much of the power of his work, though, derives from the transformative influence it had and has on his readers’ passions. Hobbes did not think that rational persuasion was the best means of effecting the change he had in mind. 25 26 27 28 Hobbes (2012, 334). Hobbes (2012, 334). Hobbes (2012, 1058). Hobbes (2012, 1074). ”30 Political science aims at establishing peace and stability in actual communities, and because Aristotle did not understand this, he has no legitimate claim to be a political philosopher, according to Hobbes.

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