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Hobbes and Aristotle on the Foundation of Political Science

Date and Time: 
Thursday, February 28, 2019. 04:15 PM - 06:00 PM
Meeting Location: 
Humanities Center Boardroom
Workshop: 
Ethics and Politics, Ancient and Modern
Meeting Description: 

A paper will be circulated prior to the event. A commentator will briefly summarize the paper and offer comments and criticisms. After a response from the presenter, the floor will open up for discussion.

Kinch Hoekstra specializes in the history of political, moral, and legal philosophy. He has written on ancient, renaissance, and early modern political thought.  He has published a number of studies on ancient political thought, including "Athenian Democracy and Popular Tyranny" (2016) and "Thucydides and the Politics of Necessity" (2017, with Mark Fisher). Another focus of research has been the philosophy of Thomas Hobbes (including studies of his theory of equality, obligation, democracy, tyranny, mixed government, natural law, and the rationality of justice); he co-edited The Oxford Handbook of Hobbes (2016). Profesor Hoesktra is the Chancellor's Professor of Political Science and Law at UC Berkeley. Jointly appointed with the UC Berkeley School of Law, Professor Hoekstra is also an affiliated professor in the Department of Philosophy and the Department of Classics.  From 1996 to 2007, he was a member of the Faculty of Philosophy at the University of Oxford, where he also regularly taught graduate students in the Faculty of Classics and the Department of Politics and International Relations. During this same period, he was the Leveson Gower Fellow in Ancient and Modern Philosophy at Balliol College. He has also been the Carlyle Lecturer in the History of Political Thought at the University of Oxford and a Visiting Professorial Fellow at Nuffield College (2017), a Rockefeller Visiting Faculty Fellow at the Center for Human Values at Princeton University (2011-12), a member of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton (2004-5), and an Ahmanson-Getty Fellow at UCLA (2001-2).  He gave the Benedict Lectures on the History of Political Philosophy at Boston University in 2018.

Nicholas Gooding is a graduate student in the Philosophy Department at UC Berkeley. His work focuses mainly on Aristotle’s practical philosophy, though with a keen interest in the ways in which it is informed or constrained by his natural philosophy and metaphysics. In his dissertation, "Reason as a Social Achievement," he explores the ways in which, for Aristotle, our nature as rational beings is dependent on our nature as social beings. Throughout this dissertation, a central theme concerns the relationship between values or norms and nature. He also sustains serious interests in Kant’s theoretical philosophy, in Nietzsche, and in the later Wittgenstein.

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