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Author: Meryl Altman


As the International Simone de Beauvoir Society celebrates the relaunch of Simone de Beauvoir Studies, the author looks back with gratitude to longtime editor Yolanda Patterson and reviews what the journal’s thirty-year history has to tell us about Beauvoir scholarship, past, present, and future. Topics discussed include the history of the Society; engagements with Beauvoir from the perspectives of literary criticism, philosophy, and the social sciences; and controversies over Beauvoir’s character, her response to the Occupation, her relationship to Sartre, and her legacy for feminism.

In: Simone de Beauvoir Studies
In: Diplomatica
Editors: Mia Arp Fallov and Cory Blad
This book seeks to explore welfare responses by questioning and going beyond the assumptions found in Esping-Andersen’s (1990) broad typologies of welfare capitalism. Specifically, the project seeks to reflect how the state engages, and creates general institutionalized responses to, market mechanisms and how such responses have created path dependencies in how states approach problems of inequality. Moreover, if the neoliberal era is defined as the dissemination and extension of market values to all forms of state institutions and social action, the need arises to critically investigate not only the embeddedness of such values and modes of thought in different contexts and institutional forms, but responses and modes of resistance arising from practice that might point to new forms of resilience.
Editors: Yoram Meital and Paula Rayman
In these times of growing insecurity, widening inequities and deepening crisis for civilized governance, Recognition as Key for Reconciliation offers meaningful and provocative thoughts on how to advance towards a more just and peaceful future. From the intractable Israeli-Palestinian conflict we learn of “thin” and “thick” recipes for solutions. Beyond the Middle East region we learn from studies around the globe: South Africa, Northern Ireland and Armenia show the challenges to genuine recognition of our very human connection to each other, and that this recognition is essential for any sustainable positive security for all of us.

Contributors are Deina Abdelkader, Gregory Aftandilian, Dale Eickelman, Amal Jamal, Maya Kahanoff, Herbert Kelman, Yoram Meital, Victoria Montgomery, Paula M. Rayman, Albie Sachs and Nira Yuval-Davis.
Author: Peter Auger

There are four books that have been advertised in sales catalogues as possessing the inscription ‘Tho. Hobbes’ and having once been owned by Thomas Hobbes. But how confident can we be that they belonged to the famous philosopher? This research note gathers evidence for assessing whether or not this quartet of books were once in the possession of Hobbes of Malmesbury, with particular attention given to a previously undiscussed edition of Josuah Sylvester’s Devine Weekes and Workes (1611) sold to the University of Illinois in 1951 as Hobbes’s copy. The evidence is insufficient to connect any of the four books to Hobbes securely, and in at least one case an Oxford undergraduate of the same name emerges as a stronger candidate. This conclusion confirms that the catalogues at Chatsworth are our principal source for knowing which books Hobbes might have read.

In: Hobbes Studies

Using the example of ghosts and religion, this paper argues for the importance of social context and background operative in Hobbes’s account of social life and, in particular, the role of environment, education, and language in explaining much of what we think we know, and much of what we believe. The paper looks to aspects of Hobbes’s epistemology and his account of belief, to make the case that he recognizes how a kind of social conditioning is required to sustain certain beliefs. The paper briefly concludes with a focus on the commonwealth itself and how the example of religion and religious belief extends to the commonwealth and the kinds of beliefs required for the commonwealth to sustain itself.

In: Hobbes Studies
In: Hobbes Studies
Author: S.A. Lloyd

There is ongoing scholarly debate over the role that Hobbes’s laws of nature play in grounding the moral requirement that subjects obey the government under which they live. This essay demonstrates how the laws of nature, when understood as natural duties, may directly ground a moral duty to obey one’s sovereign without positing that subjects have undertaken any covenant of subjection. Such a grounding avoids the problems that attend accounts that depend on tacit covenant and coerced covenant. The essay describes the advantages of a natural duty account of the laws of nature over accounts that regard those laws as contractual obligations entered through voluntary acts, or as legal obligations to treat the natural laws as literal laws legislated by a sovereign God.

In: Hobbes Studies

While there are old questions in research on Hobbes regarding which audience he addressed in each of his different works – e.g. there are speculations that De Cive is addressed to scientists and Leviathan to the English people – another question has rarely been discussed and only recently reconsidered: Might Hobbes have addressed different audiences also within one and the same text, and if so, might he have intended to communicate different messages to different readers? As ‘Straussian’ as this question might sound, it does not require us to impose external principles of hermeneutics on Hobbes’s texts. As this paper will argue, there is strong plausibility for the claim that Hobbes himself believes in the possibility and the necessity of ‘diversified communication’ or, to state it differently, to communicate different things to different people within one and the same text. By analysing Hobbes’s passion-grounded hermeneutics that is expressed both in Hobbes’s political writings and in his writings on science and on poetry, I show that it is very likely that Hobbes wrote ‘not all to all’ but instead designed different arguments for different people. Employing the heterogeneity principle in interpreting Hobbes’s texts might thus shed new light on some persistent puzzles of Hobbes’s political philosophy.

In: Hobbes Studies
In: Hobbes Studies