Mortal Gods: Science, Politics, and the Humanist Ambitions of Thomas Hobbes by Ted H. Miller

Mortal Gods: Science, Politics, and the Humanist Ambitions of Thomas Hobbes

byTed H. Miller

Paperback | April 28, 2015

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According to the commonly accepted view, Thomas Hobbes began his intellectual career as a humanist, but his discovery, in midlife, of the wonders of geometry initiated a critical transition from humanism to the scientific study of politics. In Mortal Gods, Ted Miller radically revises this view, arguing that Hobbes never ceased to be a humanist. While previous scholars have made the case for Hobbes as humanist by looking to his use of rhetoric, Miller rejects the humanism/mathematics dichotomy altogether and shows us the humanist face of Hobbes’s affinity for mathematical learning and practice. He thus reconnects Hobbes with the humanists who admired and cultivated mathematical learning—and with the material fruits of Great Britain’s mathematical practitioners. The result is a fundamental recasting of Hobbes’s project, a recontextualization of his thought within early modern humanist pedagogy and the court culture of the Stuart regimes. Mortal Gods stands as a new challenge to contemporary political theory and its settled narratives concerning politics, rationality, and violence.

About The Author

Ted H. Miller is Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Alabama. Ted H. Miller is Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Alabama.
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Details & Specs

Title:Mortal Gods: Science, Politics, and the Humanist Ambitions of Thomas HobbesFormat:PaperbackDimensions:344 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.95 inPublished:April 28, 2015Publisher:Penn State University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0271048921

ISBN - 13:9780271048925

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Extra Content

Table of Contents

Contents

Acknowledgments

1 Introduction

2 The Humanist Face of Hobbes’s Mathematics, Part 1

3 Constraints That Enable the Imitation of God

4 King of the Children of Pride: The Imitation of God in Context

5 Architectonic Ambitions: Mathematics and the Demotion of Physics

6 Eloquence and the Audience Thesis

7 All Other Doctrines Exploded: Hobbes, History, and the Struggle over Teaching

8 The Humanist Face of Hobbes’s Mathematics, Part 2: Leviathan and the Making of a Masque-Text

9 Conclusion

Appendix: Who Is a Geometer?

Notes

Bibliography

Index

Editorial Reviews

“Miller exemplifies a new kind of historicism. . . . Mustering resources of erudition toward nonantiquarian ends, he helps to liberate Hobbes scholarship from methodological constraints that have grown increasingly confining.”

—Julie E. Cooper, Perspectives on Politics