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Samuel Pufendorf Disciple of Hobbes

For a Re-Interpretation of Modern Natural Law


Fiammetta Palladini

Fiammetta Palladini’s work is one of the most important discussions of Pufendorf to appear in the latter part of the twentieth century. It cut through the existing field of Pufendorf studies, laying bare its inherited templates and tacit assumptions. Palladini was thus able to peel back the ‘Grotian’ commentary in which the great thinker had been shrouded, revealing a Pufendorf well-known in the 1680s—a formidable and dangerous natural jurist and political theorist—but doubly obscured in the 1980s and still today, by a philosophical history that flies too high to see him, and by a commentary literature that too often does not like what it sees. David Saunders’ remarkable translation carries Palladini’s argument into English with maximum fidelity.

The Sovereign and the Prophets

Spinoza on Grotian and Hobbesian Biblical Argumentation


Atsuko Fukuoka

Tracing key biblical topics recurrent in Grotian and Hobbesian discourses on the church-state relationship, The Sovereign and the Prophets examines Spinoza’s Old Testament interpretation in the Theologico-political Treatise and elucidates his effort to establish what Hobbes could not adequately offer to the Dutch: the liberty to philosophize. Fukuoka develops an original method for understanding seventeenth-century biblical arguments as a shared political paradigm. Her in-depth analysis reveals the discourses that converged on the question, ‘Who stands immediately under God to mediate His will to the people?’ This subtly nuanced theme not only linked major theoreticians diachronically—from the Remonstrants such as Grotius to the anti-Hobbesian jurist Ulrik Huber (1636–1694)—but also synchronically built the axis of resonances and dissonances between Leviathan and the Theologico-political Treatise.