Review by Choice Review
This is a collection of articles on the 18th-century English philosopher; the volume is one of the "Cambridge Companions" series on eminent philosophers. The purpose of the series is to provide short but basic summaries of various aspects of each thinker's thought. The present volume fairly well succeeds in this. The contributors are, for the most part, well-known scholars each of whose expertise in some aspect of Hobbes's thought is reflected in the essay contributed; and the volume as a whole is quite balanced in choosing to include discussion of Hobbes's work in science and mathematics, areas usually overlooked because of his dated views on these and because of his outstanding reputation as a political thinker. Perhaps there is one concession to currency rather than balance in topical choice: there is an article on rhetoric rather than the more inclusive and important area of the philosophy of language (which includes aspects of logic). Ironically, in terms of Hobbes's eminence in politics, the selection on political philosophy is one of the least intelligent of the collection; nevertheless, the general quality is high and the volume is particularly recommended for library collections of academic institutions for its introductory quality, and even for its useful biography. Upper-division undergraduate; graduate; faculty. M. A. Bertman emeritus, SUNY College at Potsdam
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