Hobbes's Leviathan

Philosophy 57301, Fall 2005


The Notes were last updated at 11 AM on Wednesday, 14 January 2009.

  1. I found something new: a book about Hobbes and the Fall. How about that? (9 Dec)
  2. I know how much Amy loves weird, obsolete uses of terms. So here’s a new one: “actually.” It helps to clear up the difficult passage about the mutual containment of natural and civil law. (1 Dec)
  3. Please turn in your papers by Wednesday, December 14. I think you all had some great ideas. I’m really looking forward to seeing how you develop them. (30 Nov)
  4. I can’t remember if I was the only one who wanted to look for an obsolete definition of “consequently” or not (for 15.40). Anyway, I found one. As long as I’m making announcements, I posted a collection of secondary sources for different interpretations of Hobbes’s conception of reason. (21 Nov)
  5. Gauthier changed his story about authorization. How about that. (11 Nov)
  6. If you’ve done the Gauthier reading for Monday, you probably noticed a passage that would have helped me a lot in my attempts to show that Hobbes employed the concept of a moral power. In any event, I noticed it and updated the relevant page in the notes. (30 Oct)
  7. My colleague Bill Wimsatt pointed me to a movie about a museum exhibit called Making things public [RealAudio]. I’m not sure exactly what it’s about, but the representation of collectives is one theme, at least. Leviathan makes an appearance starting around the 5:38 mark. (30 Oct)
  8. The copy of the Skinner article in the reserve system is missing a page. Oop: my bad. I don’t know about the copies from the copy room but suspect they’re the same. Here’s the missing page, in pdf. Sorry about that. (21 Oct)
  9. The complete syllabus is available on the right. The readings for weeks 5-9 will arrive at the copy center and the reserve room at about the same time, namely, the morning of Tuesday, 18 October. They probably won’t be available from either source until the afternoon of the 18th or morning of the 19th at the earliest. (17 Oct)
  10. How do I find all that stuff? Practice. But it helps to have electronic resources at my disposal. Here’s a quick list of some of the most useful ones. (11 Oct)
  11. Summary of our discussion of obligation. This is helping me a lot: I think I see how my own project stands in relation to what other people have been talking about. Funny how that knowledge comes after I’ve done it. (11 Oct)
  12. Reminder: we’re meeting in Stuart 209 from 1:30-4:30. We’ll start a little late so those coming from the Political Theory Workshop have time to get over with clearish heads. (9 Oct.)
  13. I think I have a pretty good lead on “captivity of the understanding.”
  14. The readings for the next two weeks are available through either the Humanities Copy room, in Walker 003, or the Regenstein electronic reserve system. We really have to give special thanks to the people who do the reserve readings: they got our stuff late but put it up there in a flash, despite being overworked. Smoooch! (5 Oct.)
  15. The syllabus is more of a work in progress than I would like. I have a solid plan for the first month, but I’m hazy about November. Download on the right. (25 Sept)
  16. Thanks to some bad planning on my part, the second seminar meeting (3 October) will overlap with my giving a presentation to the Political Theory Workshop. Since the presentation concerns Hobbes, we’ll just start with the workshop on that day. (25 Sept)
  17. But wait, there’s more! If a reasonable number of you want to attend both the seminar and the Political Theory Workshop, we should change the time when the seminar meets. Sorry, I was asleep at the switch on this one. (25 Sept)
  18. Description. This seminar is devoted to developing an interpretation of the whole of Hobbes’s Leviathan. Specifically, I will focus on his moral theory, which I believe has to be understood in the context of his political theory and his conception of philosophy in general. Some of the topics to be discussed include the relationship between reason and ethics, Hobbes’s nominalism, his theory of rights, and his conception of sovereignty.


Mondays, 1:30-4:30, Stuart 209 [map]. Note the change.


Philosophy Department

Regenstein Reserve