Location

Brock University

Document Type

Paper

Start Date

15-5-1997 9:00 AM

End Date

17-5-1997 5:00 PM

Abstract

In successive versions of Hobbes's political teaching we see a changing account of the nature of rhetoric, or eloquence, and of the dangers it poses for political life. In his Leviathan Hobbes expresses a new confidence that the causes of political dissolution can in principle be entirely eradicated. I argue that Hobbes's new hope is based on his account of the problem of rhetoric and of the solution to that problem developed in Leviathan. I also examine two recent and important accounts of Hobbes's understanding of rhetoric by Quentin Skinner and David Johnston.

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May 15th, 9:00 AM May 17th, 5:00 PM

Rhetoric and Reason in the Civil Science of Thomas Hobbes

Brock University

In successive versions of Hobbes's political teaching we see a changing account of the nature of rhetoric, or eloquence, and of the dangers it poses for political life. In his Leviathan Hobbes expresses a new confidence that the causes of political dissolution can in principle be entirely eradicated. I argue that Hobbes's new hope is based on his account of the problem of rhetoric and of the solution to that problem developed in Leviathan. I also examine two recent and important accounts of Hobbes's understanding of rhetoric by Quentin Skinner and David Johnston.