Cookies Policy

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

I accept this policy

Find out more here

Motion And Reason: Hobbes' Difficulties With The Idea Of Active Power

Brill’s MyBook program is exclusively available on BrillOnline Books and Journals. Students and scholars affiliated with an institution that has purchased a Brill E-Book on the BrillOnline platform automatically have access to the MyBook option for the title(s) acquired by the Library. Brill MyBook is a print-on-demand paperback copy which is sold at a favorably uniform low price.

Access this chapter

+ Tax (if applicable)

Chapter Summary

In brief, the notion of active power in the ?scientific? metaphysics Hobbes aimed at building is reduced to the motion of bodies conceived as causes of other motions. This chapter argues that Hobbes did not succeed in the attempt to eliminate from his kinematist metaphysics the idea of active power in the strong sense, understood as a capacity of being and acting ?in itself ?. Hobbes? kinematist theory can be seen to fail also in giving an account of the activity of human reason. It seems evident that what Hobbes describes as ?ratiocination? involves active operations of reason in the strong sense of being causally independent of sensations and other bodily affections. The tacit presumption that humans are able to act freely, by their own power alone, becomes particularly obvious in Hobbes? description of the sovereign as an independent and unlimited agent in political life.

Keywords: active power; human reason; kinematist metaphysics; motion of bodies; ratiocination; Thomas Hobbes



Can't access your account?
  • Tools

  • Add to Favorites
  • Printable version
  • Email this page
  • Recommend to your library

    You must fill out fields marked with: *

    Librarian details
    Your details
    Why are you recommending this title?
    Select reason:
    The World as Active Power — Recommend this title to your library
  • Export citations
  • Key

  • Full access
  • Open Access
  • Partial/No accessInformation