In 2013, we had one lecture on Hobbes’ Leviathan, by Robert Crawford.
In 2014 we had two lectures on this text, one by Robert Crawford and one by Christina Hendricks
- Link to the Prezi used by Christina Hendricks for the 2014 lecture
These questions are from various years in which Hobbes’ Leviathan was taught in Arts One.
- Discuss the relationship between language and power in Hobbes. (2013-2014)
- Hobbes is often taken to argue that humankind is naturally bad. Does your reading of Leviathan support this view? (2013-2014, 2014-2015)
- How might a ‘Hobbesian’ (someone who accepts Hobbes’ theories on human nature) read Marlowe’s Doctor Faustus? (2013-2014)
- Why does Hobbes so strongly emphasize the originally independent or self-made individual? (2013-2014, 2014-2015)
- Given the mechanical account Hobbes gives of the human being, is his view of free will reasonable? (2014-2015)
- “Good and Evil are names that signify our appetites and aversions, which in different tempers, customs, and doctrines of men are different” (100). While Hobbes recognizes that moral precepts vary greatly across humanity, he also makes the case for the existence of objective moral rules that transcend custom. What is the basis for this argument, and is it convincing? (2014-2015)
- How would Hobbes analyze the political conditions at play in one of the following works: Antigone, The Tempest, The Odyssey. (2014-2015)
- Hobbes suggests he is trying to steer between two extremes of authority and liberty: “I know not how the world will receive [this book] …. For in a way beset with those that contend, on one side for too great liberty, and on the other side for too much authority, ‘tis hard to pass between the points of both unwounded” (1). Does Leviathan actually find a middle ground between liberty and authority, in spite of its unyielding defence of absolute state power? (2014-2015)
- How would Hobbes respond to the arguments about political authority in Plato’s Republic? (2014-2015)
- Would Hobbes conclude that Odysseus has the right to hang the maids in either The Odyssey or The Penelopiad? What does this tell us about rights, freedom or rebellion in Hobbes’ political philosophy? (2014-2015)
- Compare the role of fear in Hobbes’s Leviathan and Appelfeld’s Until the Dawn’s Light. (2014-2015)
- Is Hobbes’s stance regarding power and corruption persuasive? (2014-2015)