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Mortal Gods: Science, Politics, and the…
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Mortal Gods: Science, Politics, and the Humanist Ambitions of Thomas…

by Ted H. Miller

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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0271048913, Hardcover)

Although Thomas Hobbes is commonly acknowledged to have begun his intellectual career as a humanist, he is said to have discovered, in midlife, the wonders of geometry. The impact of this moment is thought to mark the beginning of a critical transition in which he turned from humanism to pursue the scientific study of politics. In Mortal Gods, Ted Miller challenges this view, arguing that he never ceased to be a humanist. The case for Hobbes as a humanist has been made before in light of his use of rhetoric. This book does something different. It rejects the humanist/mathematics dichotomy, and it shows us the humanist face of Hobbes's affinity for mathematical learning and practice. In this radical revision of received views, Miller reconnects Hobbes with the humanists who admired and cultivated mathematical learning, and with the material fruits of Great Britain's mathematical practitioners. The result is a fundamental recasting of Hobbes's project, a recontextualization of his thought within early modern humanist pedagogy and the court culture of the Stuart regimes. It stands as a new challenge to contemporary political theory and its settled narratives concerning politics, rationality, and violence.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:13:32 -0400)

According to the commonly accepted view, Thomas Hobbes began his intellectual career as a humanist, but his discovery, in midlife, of the wonders of geometry initiated a critical transition from humanism to the scientific study of politics. In Mortal Gods, Ted Miller radically revises this view, arguing that Hobbes never ceased to be a humanist. While previous scholars have made the case for Hobbes as humanist by looking to his use of rhetoric, Miller rejects the humanism/mathematics dichotomy altogether and shows us the humanist face of Hobbes's affinity for mathematical learning and practice. He thus reconnects Hobbes with the humanists who admired and cultivated mathematical learning-and with the material fruits of Great Britain's mathematical practitioners. The result is a fundamental recasting of Hobbes's project, a recontextualization of his thought within early modern humanist pedagogy and the court culture of the Stuart regimes. Mortal Gods stands as a new challenge to contemporary political theory and its settled narratives concerning politics, rationality, and violence.… (more)

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