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Gianni Paganini

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Gianni Paganini

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Gianni Paganini

Abstract

Research made by Schuhmann and Bredekamp has pointed up the unsuspected links between Hobbes and one of the ancient traditions best loved by Renaissance philosophy: Hermeticism. Our goal will be to proceed further and to stress the Hermetic significance implicit in the formula "mortal God". If Asclepius can act as a source for the theme of the fabrication of gods, it does not fit in with the antithesis ("mortal god/immortal God") typical of the Leviathan. A proper source for this topic can rather be found in treatise X ("Clavis") of the Corpus Hermeticum, well known to Ficino and to Iustus Lipsius. We must also stress one capital difference: whereas in the Hermetic texts man's apotheosis passes through gnosis and the exercise of the intellect, reserved in practice for a few selected people, in Leviathan on the contrary it is the holder of sovereignty who acquires the features of the "mortal god". Divinisation passes through politics, with the delicate artificial process of "generating the state"; knowledge only provides the tools for the rational technique needed to elaborate sovereignty, through stipulating pacts and the convention of impersonation. The "artificial man" as a mortal God is the apotheosis of the common man who enters into the founding pact with his ordinary intellectual and motivational faculties.

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Skepticism in the Modern Age

Building on the Work of Richard Popkin

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Edited by José Maia Neto, Gianni Paganini and John Christian Laursen

Since the publication of the first edition of Richard Popkin’s classic The History of Scepticism in 1960, skepticism has been increasingly recognized as a major force in the development of early modern philosophy. This book provides a review of current scholarship and significant updated research on some of the main thinkers and issues related to the reappraisal of ancient skepticism in the modern age. Special attention is given to the nature, importance, and relation to religion of Montaigne’s and Hume’s skepticisms; to the various skeptical and non-skeptical sources of Cartesian doubt; to the skeptical and anti-skeptical impact of Cartesianism in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries; and to philosophers who dealt with skeptical issues in the development of their own various intellectual interests.
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José R. Maia Neto, Gianni Paganini and John Christian Laursen