3 "Re-thinking Hobbes's Materialistic and Mechanistic Projects " ROBERT ARP I. Introduction In this paper I shall attempt to show that, despite his intention to formulate a thoroughly reductionistic and mechanistic philosophical system, Hobbes actu- ally fails on both accounts. First, I argue that Hobbes fails to be a consistent ontological reductionist, but his attempts at applying methodological reduction- ism fair much better. Then, I argue that Hobbes fails to be a strict mechanist since at times he seems to implicitly endorse the very Aristotelian/Scholastic categories he has explicitly rejected. Again, Hobbes's methodology appears mechanistic given its Galilean scope; however, his metaphysical views betray his views concerning the physics of the universe. In the end I maintain that such inconsistency, oversight and contradiction in his system is to be expected since Hobbes was, at once, philosopher and philosophical theologian existing on the cusp of the Scholastic and Modem worlds. II. Hobbes's materialistic project A. Materialism, Mechanism, Ontology and Methodology At the outset it is important to define and distinguish versions of materialism and mechanism.' A materialist thinks that all aspects of reality can be account- ed for in material terms. In the Oxford Dictionary of Philosophy Simon Blackburn
Hobbes Studies – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 2002
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