As its subtitle 'Skepticism, Individuality and Chastened Politics' indicates, this book is an exploration of and a largely favorable engagement with salient elements in the thinking of a theorist who is widely regarded as the greatest Anglophone political thinker and among the top rank of philosophical writers generally. In emphazing Hobbes's skepticism, Richard Flathman goes against the grain of much of the literature concerning Hobbes. The theme of individuality is more familiar, particularly from the celebrated writings on Hobbes by Michael Oakeshott, but the idea of a chastened politics challenges the widely influential view that Hobbes was not only an authoritarian but an incipient or proto-totalitarian.
Richard E. Flathman is George Armstrong Kelly Memorial Professor of Political Science at Johns Hopkins University where he teaches political philosophy.
Chapter 1 Of Making and Unmaking Chapter 2 O God, Matter, and Mind Chapter 3 Of Language, Reason, and Science Chapter 4 Of Prudence and Morality: The Right and the Laws of Nature Chapter 5 Of Prudence and Morality: Desires, Ends, and Character Chapter 6 Of Liberty, Authority, and Power Chapter 7 Of Liberty, Politics, and Political Education Chapter 8 Of Individuality and Democracy