The Individual, the State, and God: Ethics, Politics, and Religion in the Philosophy of Thomas Hobbes
Edwin Curley, University of Illinois at Chicago
As 1988 is the 400th anniversary of the birth of Thomas Hobbes, it was an appropriate occasion to re-examine his work. This course looked at Hobbes’ work from a developmental point of view, beginning with the early Elements of Law, and tracing Hobbes’ theories of human nature, the nature of morality, the rationale for political obedience, and the role of religion, through De Cive, Leviathan, and De Homine. The class also examined sections of his work which dealt with religion, in order to determine how much truth there is to the charges of covert atheism frequently leveled against Hobbes by his contemporaries, and to assess the importance of his views on religion for his moral and political philosophy.
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