Metaphysical Problems, Political Solutions

Metaphysical Problems, Political Solutions : Self, State, and Nation in Hobbes and Locke

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This book seeks to read the political thought of classic thinkers of the liberal tradition in the context of their metaphysical and theological writings. Sokolowski demonstrates that the political measures offered by political theorists to remedy the state of unrest and instability are intrinsically connected to their metaphysical conception of order, the self, and the interaction between the more

Product details

  • Hardback | 194 pages
  • 157.48 x 231.14 x 20.32mm | 340.19g
  • Lexington Books
  • Lanham, MD, United States
  • English
  • 073914815X
  • 9780739148150
  • 2,109,816

About Asaf Z. Sokolowski

Asaf Z. Sokolowski, PhD, is an independent scholar based in more

Table of contents

Chapter 1 Introduction Chapter 2 Chapter 1. Politics, Metaphysically Speaking Chapter 3 Chapter 2. Hobbes: A Holistic Reading of his Politics Chapter 4 Chapter 3. Hobbes: One for All Chapter 5 Chapter 4. Hobbes: Rationality as Recurrence Chapter 6 Chapter 5. Locke: Removing the Misconceptions Chapter 7 Chapter 6. Locke: the Property of Continuous Identity Chapter 8 Chapter 7. Locke: Heritage and Nationality Chapter 9 Chapter 8. A Breakdown of Cosmopolitanismshow more

Review quote

In recent years, numerous scholars have turned their attention to the theological component of Hobbes's thought, long neglected because judged to be a cover for the author's materialistic rationalism. Sokolowski adds to this body of work. Sokolowski contends that Hobbes is best understood as seeking a divinely ordered, absolute truth with which to escape the contingencies of time and space. The author further contends that the continuation of identity, more so than the preservation of self, is the contingency that Hobbes mainly addresses-all of this being an especially abstract way of saying that contracts among strangers are tricky affairs. Locke, according to Sokolowski, is not an acolyte of Hobbes, as some scholars maintain; rather, he is Hobbes's antithesis, insofar as individuation for Locke is an ineluctable fact of the human condition. Individuation cannot be recreated as a thing impervious to chance, though it can be manipulated. Manipulation is a less certain way of negotiating the continuous-identity problem-by which is meant that majority rule governs the Lockean state, taking the place of Hobbes's totalitarian sovereign. Distinguishing Locke from Hume and Smith is a further concern of this analysis, as is relating liberalism to nationalism and cosmopolitanism. CHOICEshow more