Article ID: CBB101692783

A Metaphysics of Vision: On the Origins of Thomas Hobbes’s Political and Moral Philosophy (2019)


The aim of this essay is to show the close link that exists between Hobbes’s optical theory and his political and moral philosophy. To do this, I will begin with an account of his theory of light and vision, pointing out how it implies an ontological and epistemological difference between material objects and our images of them. I then analyse the consequences of this distinction for the Hobbesian theory of passions and subjectivity of values, and conclude by clarifying how Hobbes’s doctrine of absolute sovereignty is a political solution that he proposed to the problem of the perception of good and evil, that is, to the problem of perception as such.

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Authors & Contributors
Dijksterhuis, Fokko Jan
Darrigol, Olivier
Tanaka, Ichiro
Zarka, Yves Charles
Garber, Margaret D.
Pantin, Isabelle
Early Science and Medicine: A Journal for the Study of Science, Technology and Medicine in the Pre-modern Period
科学史研究 Kagakusi Kenkyu (History of Science)
Recherches sur le XVIIème Siècle
Perspectives on Science
Centaurus: International Magazine of the History of Mathematics, Science, and Technology
Monist: An International Quarterly Journal of General Philosophical Inquiry
Oxford University Press
University of Chicago Press
Temple University
Color theory
Hobbes, Thomas
Descartes, René
Kepler, Johannes
Mersenne, Marin
Marci, Johannes Marcus
Hartsoeker, Niklaas
Time Periods
17th century
18th century
United States

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