Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=1927305
 


 



Fantasies of Death and Demons: Hobbes Against the Ontological Illusion


Gordon Hull


University of North Carolina at Charlotte - Department of Philosophy

September 14, 2011


Abstract:     
By way of a discussion of the demonology chapter in Leviathan, this paper analyzes Hobbes’s political arguments against what I call the “ontological illusion,” the constitutive human tendency to take presentations of the imagination as extramental entities. Hobbes’s claim, made primarily in part four of Leviathan, is that managing this tendency is critical for the stability of the state. The first section describes the psychology of fear in Hobbes. The second describes the process of the ontological illusion and ties it to Hobbes’s discussion of demonology as a political problem. The third indicates the importance of witchcraft persecutions to Hobbes, particularly given Leviathan’s target audience. The fourth brings all of these together to emphasize the reasons why Hobbes thinks witchcraft persecutions, which elevate the ontological illusion to state policy and in so doing evidence the mismanagement of human passions, are disastrous policy.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 27

Keywords: Hobbes, fear, demonology, witchcraft, imagination

working papers series





Download This Paper

Date posted: September 14, 2011 ; Last revised: September 14, 2012

Suggested Citation

Hull, Gordon, Fantasies of Death and Demons: Hobbes Against the Ontological Illusion (September 14, 2011). Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1927305 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1927305

Contact Information

Gordon Hull (Contact Author)
University of North Carolina at Charlotte - Department of Philosophy ( email )
9201 University City Blvd.
Charlotte, NC 28223
United States
Feedback to SSRN


Paper statistics
Abstract Views: 298
Downloads: 42

© 2014 Social Science Electronic Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.  FAQ   Terms of Use   Privacy Policy   Copyright   Contact Us
This page was processed by apollo5 in 0.265 seconds