In praise of Hobbes

I love the language and thought in Leviathan:

Feare of power invisible, feigned by the mind, or imagined from tales publicly allowed, RELIGION; not allowed, SUPERSTITION. And when the power imagined is truly such as we imagine, TRUE RELIGION.

Concision achieved by cogitation; so different to the ill-thought out ramblings on blogs.

Comments

  1. #1 Eli Rabett
    2008/05/17
  2. #2 bloggersmosaic
    2008/05/17

    really awesome

  3. #3 RJG
    2008/05/20

    William
    I know what a fan you are of Hobbes. Thought you might be interested in “Leviathan and the Air Pump” by Shapin and Schaffer. I never appreciated that Hobbes was so active in relation to Boyle, air pumps and science in general.

    I came across the book whilst researching the sociology of skepticism and thought the following quote appropriate (from a review):

    “First, by using such a canonical set of experiments like Boyle’s pneumatics as the focus of their research, Shapin and Schaffer were able to refute firmly any sort of traditionalist notions that “hard sciences” like physical chemistry were not affected by social currents.”

    Plus ca change…

    It’ll take time for the hard-sci modellers to realise the complexities of science. Another good book if you’re interested is Constructing Quarks – A sociological history of particle physics and Ludwik Fleck’s Genesis and development of a scientific fact (which inspired Kuhn).