Thomas Hobbes is justly considered as a decisively important name in the history of modern political philosophy. Throughout his numerous contributions we find his understanding of liberty, as «absence of external impediments to motion». This concept has been seriously studied throughout the last decades and it has not been rare to witness some comparisons between his understanding of corporeal liberty and contemporary views on «negative liberty». In this work we attempt to fit the Hobbesian understanding of liberty in the development of a peculiarly modern sense of liberty, as characterized by Benjamin Constant. Can we observe in Hobbes a first sight of the «liberty of the moderns»? We will address the way Hobbes’scriticism of free-will and political (republican) liberty will mark a great moment in the history of ideas. We will also attempt to show how that understanding of liberty was accompanied by an endeavour aimed at depoliticisation, i.e. on the neutralisation of the action and claims of thecitizen as a leading actor in civic life. If the «liberty of the moderns» will be essentially centred on the private domain of human existence, then Hobbesian liberty will find it selfalongside a critique on the dignity and value of the vita activa and of the model of the citizen. Hobbes will be one of the great challengers of the classical idea of citizenship. Here we revisitthat hobbesian animad version. We will put Hobbes vis-à-vis Aristotle and Cicero: that is, this essay puts the polemical philosopher in the middle of the quarrel between the Ancients and the Moderns. Hence, Hobbes’s role as a great philosopher of modernity will become more intelligible; and we hope the reader will be able to grasp the ways the philosopher of Malmesbury was crucial for so numerous and relevant matters that we still question nowadays.
|Date of Award||11 Jan 2022|
- Universidade Católica Portuguesa
|Supervisor||Miguel Morgado (Supervisor)|
- Mestrado em Ciência Política e Relações Internacionais: Segurança e Defesa