SR-26-Hobbes - simply by his own appetites, life was...

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Science and Ideology in the English Civil War: Thomas Hobbes English Civil War of 1640s—King Charles I beheaded in 1649; old foundations of belief (king, church, tradition) called into question, even destroyed. What then was the proper basis for political power, or for authority in any realm—including in science? In Leviathan (1651), Thomas Hobbes (1588–1679, English) used a version of the mechanical philosophy to derive an authoritarian political system. Went further than Descartes: Hobbes said mind itself was simply a byproduct of mechanical motions. Pure materialism ; no immaterial soul or spirit. Hobbes said there was no God-given political order, no absolute good or evil— only matter in motion. In the ‘state of Nature,’ in which each individual was driven
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Unformatted text preview: simply by his own appetites, life was solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short. To avoid anarchy, people signed all power over to a sovereign, securing law and order in return. According to Hobbes, the sovereign must have total control not just over politics, but over religion, philosophy, even science, lest error and division creep in and undermine good order. Hobbes widely denounced as a wicked atheist. Reaction against him helped turn English thinkers against Cartesian mechanical philosophy in the later 17th century. Steven Shapin and Simon Schaffer, Leviathan and the Air-Pump: Hobbes, Boyle, and the Experimental Life (1985, 2011)....
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This note was uploaded on 12/03/2011 for the course HISTORY 322D taught by Professor Hunt during the Fall '11 term at University of Texas at Austin.

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