Mortal Gods: Science, Politics, and the Humanist Ambitions of Thomas Hobbes

Mortal Gods: Science, Politics, and the Humanist Ambitions of Thomas Hobbes

by Ted H. Miller
     
 

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ISBN-10: 0271048921

ISBN-13: 9780271048925

Pub. Date: 11/16/2011

Publisher: Penn State University Press

According to the commonly accepted view, Thomas Hobbes began his intellectual career as a humanist, but his discovery, in midlife, of the wonders of geometry initiated a critical transition from humanism to the scientific study of politics. In Mortal Gods, Ted Miller radically revises this view, arguing that Hobbes never ceased to be a humanist. While

Overview

According to the commonly accepted view, Thomas Hobbes began his intellectual career as a humanist, but his discovery, in midlife, of the wonders of geometry initiated a critical transition from humanism to the scientific study of politics. In Mortal Gods, Ted Miller radically revises this view, arguing that Hobbes never ceased to be a humanist. While previous scholars have made the case for Hobbes as humanist by looking to his use of rhetoric, Miller rejects the humanism/mathematics dichotomy altogether and shows us the humanist face of Hobbes’s affinity for mathematical learning and practice. He thus reconnects Hobbes with the humanists who admired and cultivated mathematical learning—and with the material fruits of Great Britain’s mathematical practitioners. The result is a fundamental recasting of Hobbes’s project, a recontextualization of his thought within early modern humanist pedagogy and the court culture of the Stuart regimes. Mortal Gods stands as a new challenge to contemporary political theory and its settled narratives concerning politics, rationality, and violence.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780271048925
Publisher:
Penn State University Press
Publication date:
11/16/2011
Pages:
344
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.78(d)

Table of Contents

Contents

Acknowledgments

1 Introduction

2 The Humanist Face of Hobbes’s Mathematics, Part 1

3 Constraints That Enable the Imitation of God

4 King of the Children of Pride: The Imitation of God in Context

5 Architectonic Ambitions: Mathematics and the Demotion of Physics

6 Eloquence and the Audience Thesis

7 All Other Doctrines Exploded: Hobbes, History, and the Struggle over Teaching

8 The Humanist Face of Hobbes’s Mathematics, Part 2: Leviathan and the Making of a Masque-Text

9 Conclusion

Appendix: Who Is a Geometer?

Notes

Bibliography

Index

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