[SydPhil] Philosophy seminar, Friday 7th of September, Macquarie University

Paul Formosa pc.formosa at gmail.com
Mon Sep 3 13:11:15 AEST 2012

The Department of Philosophy at Macquarie University is hosting a 
seminar this Friday, the 7^th of September, from 1:30-3:30pm, in Bld. 
W6A, room 127. The presenter will be Associate Professor Deborah Brown, 
from the University of Queensland. Title and abstract are below. All 


Power in Transition: Hobbes and the Whole Shoe-bang.


This presentation explores shifts in thinking about agency and social 
power in the thought of Thomas Hobbes. I begin by examining the 
conception of power Hobbes develops in his physics, centered around the 
/conatus/ or "endeavour" that each body possesses in accordance with the 
first law of mechanics. Since human beings are also mechanical systems, 
they too are driven by conatus, which expresses itself in the interplay 
of the passions. Human endeavour exercised through the passions is the 
foundation for both the social contract and the 'body politic', the 
organic form of the commonwealth that aligns the interests of 
individuals with the State. I argue that a contradiction exists between 
Hobbes' conception of the social contract and his endorsement of the 
conatus principle, the resolution of which requires a rethinking of the 
relationship between power, right and will.



Dr Paul Formosa
ARC DECRA Research Fellow
Department of Philosophy
Macquarie University, NSW 2109, Australia
E: Paul.Formosa at mq.edu.au <mailto:Paul.Formosa at mq.edu.au>


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