Save

Hobbes, Definitions, and Simplest Conceptions

In: Hobbes Studies
Author:
Marcus P. Adams University of Pittsburgh, Department of History & Philosophy of Science 1017 Cathedral of Learning, Pittsburgh, PA 15260, USA, marcuspadams@gmail.com

Search for other papers by Marcus P. Adams in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
Download Citation Get Permissions

Access options

Get access to the full article by using one of the access options below.

Institutional Login

Log in with Open Athens, Shibboleth, or your institutional credentials

Login via Institution

Purchase

Buy instant access (PDF download and unlimited online access):

$40.00

Several recent commentators argue that Thomas Hobbes’s account of the nature of science is conventionalist. Engaging in scientific practice on a conventionalist account is more a matter of making sure one connects one term to another properly rather than checking one’s claims, e.g., by experiment. In this paper, I argue that the conventionalist interpretation of Hobbesian science accords neither with Hobbes’s theoretical account in De corpore and Leviathan nor with Hobbes’s scientific practice in De homine and elsewhere. Closely tied to the conventionalist interpretation is the deductivist interpretation, on which it is claimed that Hobbes believed sciences such as optics are deduced from geometry. I argue that Hobbesian science places simplest conceptions as the foundation for geometry and the sciences in which we use geometry, which provides strong evidence against both the conventionalist and deductivist interpretations.

Content Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 346 94 26
Full Text Views 171 5 0
PDF Views & Downloads 87 12 0