- Slides: 8
Thomas Hobbes (1588 -1679) 3 Major Contributions to Western Intellectual Thought: 1) The universe is corporeal 2) Reality consists of matter in motion 3) Our greatest fear is social chaos
Hobbes (cont’d) 1) The universe is corporeal “The universe, that is the whole mass of things that are, is corporeal…every part of the universe is body, and that which is not body is no part of the universe. ” All human law derives from natural law; when human law departs from natural law, disaster follows.
Hobbes (cont’d) Battle of Marston Moor 2) Reality consists of matter in motion • Aristotle: natural state for physical bodies is rest • Galileo: natural state for physical bodies is in motion
Hobbes (cont’d) 3) Our greatest fear is social chaos Leviathan (1651): • The condition of man is a condition of war of every one against every one. • Whatsoever therefore is consequent to a time of war…the same is consequent to the time, wherein men live without other security…in such condition…the life of man is solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.
Hobbes (cont’d) Result of Hobbes’s Philosophy: • People form a “social contract” Questions Raised: Can freedom lead to evil as well as good? Is there an essential, unchanging human nature? Is this unpleasant bastard right…are humans naturally “enemies” with each other? A Scene on the Ice – 1625 - Hendrick Avercamp
Jonathan Swift (1667 -1745) (1726) animal rationale vs. rationis capax
Swift – Gulliver’s Travels Satire • A minimal definition: “attack by indirection” • Criticism of vice or folly • A call to rationality Its ultimate goal is to moderate human behavior
Swift – Gulliver’s Travels (cont’d) Critical Reception 1726 – a very “merry” read 19 th Century - saw it as “misanthropic” - associated Gulliver with Swift - jarred with Victorian ideals 20 th Century - close reading separated Gulliver and Swift - a satire on Utopia 21 st Century?