Thomas Hobbes of Malmesbury

Thomas Hobbes of Malmesbury (5 April 1588 – 4 December 1679), in some older texts Thomas Hobbs of Malmsbury,[1] was an English philosopher, best known today for his work on political philosophy. His 1651 book Leviathan established the foundation for most of Western political philosophy from … Continue reading

Thomas Hobbes of Malmesbury (5 April 1588 – 4 December 1679), in some older texts Thomas Hobbs of Malmsbury,[1] was an English philosopher, best known today for his work on political philosophy. His 1651 book Leviathan established the foundation for most of Western political philosophy from the perspective of social contract theory.[2]

Hobbes was a champion of absolutism for the sovereign but he also developed some of the fundamentals of European liberal thought: the right of the individual; the natural equality of all men; the artificial character of the political order (which led to the later distinction between civil society and the state); the view that all legitimate political power must be “representative” and based on the consent of the people; and a liberal interpretation of law which leaves people free to do whatever the law does not explicitly forbid.[3]

He was one of the founders of modern political philosophy.[4] His understanding of humans as being matter and motion, obeying the same physical laws as other matter and motion, remains influential; and his account of human nature as self-interested cooperation, and of political communities as being based upon a “social contract” remains one of the major topics of political philosophy.

In addition to political philosophy, Hobbes also contributed to a diverse array of other fields, including historygeometry, the physics of gases,theologyethics, and general philosophy.

In Leviathan, Hobbes set out his doctrine of the foundation of states and legitimate governments – originating social contract theoryLeviathan was written during the English Civil War; much of the book is occupied with demonstrating the necessity of a strong central authority to avoid the evil of discord and civil war.

Beginning from a mechanistic understanding of human beings and the passions, Hobbes postulates what life would be like without government, a condition which he calls the state of nature. In that state, each person would have a right, or license, to everything in the world. This, Hobbes argues, would lead to a “war of all against all” (bellum omnium contra omnes). The description contains what has been called one of the best known passages in English philosophy, which describes the natural state mankind would be in, were it not for political community:

In such condition, there is no place for industry; because the fruit thereof is uncertain: and consequently no culture of the earth; no navigation, nor use of the commodities that may be imported by sea; no commodious building; no instruments of moving, and removing, such things as require much force; no knowledge of the face of the earth; no account of time; no arts; no letters; no society; and which is worst of all, continual fear, and danger of violent death; and the life of man, solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.

— “Chapter XIII.: Of the Natural Condition of Mankind As Concerning Their Felicity, and Misery.”Leviathan

Hobbes has been accused of atheism, or (in the case of Bramhall) of teachings which could lead to atheism. This was an important accusation, and Hobbes himself wrote, in his answer to Bramhall’s “the catching of the Leviathan” that “atheism, impiety, and the like are words of the greatest defamation possible”.[16] Hobbes always defended himself from such accusations.[17] In more recent times also, much has been made of his religious views by scholars such as Richard Tuck and J. G. A. Pocock, but there is still widespread disagreement about the exact significance of Hobbes’s unusual views on religion.

As Martinich (1995, p. 31) has pointed out, in Hobbes’s time, the term “atheist” was frequently applied to people who believed in God, but not divine providence, or to people who believed in God, but also maintained other beliefs which were inconsistent with such belief. He says that this “sort of discrepancy has led to many errors in determining who was an atheist in the early modern period“. In this extended early modern sense of atheism, Hobbes did indeed take positions which were in strong disagreement with church teachings of his time. For example, Hobbes argued repeatedly that there are no incorporeal substances, and that all things, including human thoughts, and even God, heaven, and hell are corporeal, matter in motion. He argued that “though Scripture acknowledge spirits, yet doth it nowhere say, that they are incorporeal, meaning thereby without dimensions and quantity”.[18] (In this view, Hobbes claimed to be following Tertullian, whose views were not condemned in the Nicene creed.) He also, like Locke, stated that true revelation can never be in disagreement with human reason and experience,[19] although he also argues that people should accept revelation and its interpretations also for the reason that they should accept the commands of their sovereign, in order to avoid war.

General works online

  • Works by Thomas Hobbes at Project Gutenberg
  • The English Works of Thomas Hobbes of Malmesbury; Now First Collected and Edited by Sir William Molesworth, Bart., (London: Bohn, 1839–45). 11 volumes. Can be found on the internet:-
  • TRIPOS ; in Three Discourses :
  • I. Human Nature, or the Fundamental Elements of Policy
  • II. De Corpore Politico, or the Elements of Law
  • III. Of Liberty and Necessity
  • An Answer to Bishop Bramhall’s Book, called ” The Catching of the Leviathan”
  • An Historical Narration concerning Heresy, and the Punishment thereof Considerations upon the Reputation, Loyalty, Manners, and Religion of Thomas Hobbes
  • Answer to Sir William Davenant’s Preface before ” Gondibert”
  • Letter to the Right Honourable Edward Howard
  • Volume 5The Questions concerning Liberty, Necessity and Chance, clearly stated and debated between Dr Bramhall Bishop of Derry and Thomas Hobbes of Malmesbury.
  • Volume 6.
  • A Dialogue Between a Philosopher & a Student of the Common Laws of England
  • A Dialogue of the Common Law
  • Behemoth: the History of the Causes of the Civil Wars of England, and of the Counsels and Artifices By Which They Were Carried On From the Year 1640 to the Year 1660
  • The Art of Rhetoric Plainly Set Forth. With Pertinent Examples For the More Easy Understanding and Practice of the Same
  • The Art of Sophistry
  • Seven Philosophical Problems
  • Decameron Physiologicum
  • Proportion of a straight line to half the arc of a quadrant
  • Six lessons to the Savilian Professors of the Mathematics
  • ???????, or Marks of the absurd Geometry etc. of Dr Wallis
  • Extract of a letter from Henry Stubbe
  • Three letters presented to the Royal Society against Dr Wallis
  • Considerations on the answer of Dr Wallis
  • Letters and other pieces
  • The Latin works can also be found
  • Volume I. Biographical and Elementorum Philosophiae I: De Corpore
  • Volume II. Elementorum Philosophiae II and III: De Homine and De Cive
  • Volume III. Latin version of Leviathan.
  • Volume IV. Various concerning mathematics, geometry and physics.
  • Volume V. Various short works.

Paradise Lost

Paradise Lost is an epic poem in blank verse by the 17th-century English poet John Milton. It was originally published in 1667 in ten books, with a total of over ten thousand individual lines of verse. A second edition followed in 1674, changed into twelve books (in … Continue reading

Paradise Lost is an epic poem in blank verse by the 17th-century English poet John Milton. It was originally published in 1667 in ten books, with a total of over ten thousand individual lines of verse. A second edition followed in 1674, changed into twelve books (in the manner of the division of Virgil‘sAeneid) with minor revisions throughout and a note on the versification.[1]

The poem concerns the Biblical story of the Fall of Man: the temptation of Adam and Eve by the fallen angel Satan and their expulsion from theGarden of Eden. Milton’s purpose, stated in Book I, is to “justify the ways of God to men”.[2] Paradise Lost is widely considered one of the greatest literary works in the English language.

Milton’s 17th century contemporaries by and large criticised Milton’s ideas and considered him as a radical, mostly because of his well-known Protestant views on politics and religion. One of Milton’s greatest and most controversial arguments centres on his concept of what is idolatrous; this topic is deeply embedded in Paradise Lost.

Milton’s first criticism of idolatry focuses on the practice of constructing temples and other buildings to serve as places of worship. In Book XI of Paradise Lost, Adam tries to atone for his sins by offering to build altars to worship God. In response, the angel Michael explains that Adam does not need to build physical objects to experience the presence of God.[20] Joseph Lyle points to this example, explaining “When Milton objects to architecture, it is not a quality inherent in buildings themselves he finds offensive, but rather their tendency to act as convenient loci to which idolatry, over time, will inevitably adhere.”[21] Even if the idea is pure in nature, Milton still believes that it will unavoidably lead to idolatry simply because of the nature of humans. Instead of placing their thoughts and beliefs into God, as they should, humans tend to turn to erected objects and falsely invest their faith. While Adam attempts to build an altar to God, critics note Eve is similarly guilty of idolatry, but in a different manner. Harding believes Eve’s narcissism and obsession with herself constitutes idolatry.[22] Specifically, Harding claims that “… under the serpent’s influence, Eve’s idolatry and self-deification foreshadow the errors into which her ‘Sons’ will stray.”[22] Much like Adam, Eve falsely places her faith into herself, the Tree of Knowledge, and to some extent, the Serpent, all of which do not compare to the ideal nature of God.

Furthermore, Milton makes his views on idolatry more explicit with the creation of Pandemonium and the exemplary allusion to Solomon’s temple. In the beginning of Paradise Lost, as well as throughout the poem, there are several references to the rise and eventual fall of Solomon’s temple. Critics elucidate that “Solomon’s temple provides an explicit demonstration of how an artefact moves from its genesis in devotional practice to an idolatrous end.”[23] This example, out of the many presented, conveys Milton’s views on the dangers of idolatry distinctly. Even if one builds a structure in the name of God, even the best of intentions can become immoral. In addition, critics have drawn parallels between both Pandemonium and Saint Peter’s Basilica,[citation needed] and the Pantheon. The majority of these similarities revolve around a structural likeness, but as Lyle explains, they play a greater role. By linking Saint Peter’s Basilica and the Pantheon toPandemonium—an ideally false structure, the two famous buildings take on a false meaning.[24] This comparison best represents Milton’s Protestant views, as it rejects both the purely Catholic perspective and the Pagan perspective.

In addition to rejecting Catholicism, Milton revolted against the idea of a monarch ruling by divine right. He saw the practice as idolatrous. Barbara Lewalski concludes that the theme of idolatry inParadise Lost ”is an exaggerated version of the idolatry Milton had long associated with the Stuart ideology of divine kingship”.[25] In the opinion of Milton, any object, human or non-human, that receives special attention befitting of God, is considered idolatrous.

Paradise Regained, a shorter, later poem by Milton about the Temptation of Christ by Satan.

Paradise Lost XHTML version at Dartmouth’s Milton Reading Room

Boris Strugatsky

Libros Gratis Roadside Picnic (Russian: Пикник на обочине, Piknik na obochine, IPA: [pʲikˈnʲik na ɐˈbotɕɪnʲe]) is a short science fiction novel written by Arkady and Boris Strugatsky between January 18 and November 3 of 1971. As of 1998, 38 editions of the novel were published in 20 countries.[1] The novel was first translated to English by Antonina W. Bouis. The preface to the first American edition […]

Libros Gratis


Roadside Picnic (Russian: ?????? ?? ???????, Piknik na obochineIPA: [p?ik?n?ik na ??bot??n?e]) is a short science fiction novel written by Arkady and Boris Strugatsky between January 18 and November 3 of 1971. As of 1998, 38 editions of the novel were published in 20 countries.[1] The novel was first translated to English by Antonina W. Bouis. The preface to the first American edition of the novel (MacMillan Publishing Co., Inc, New York, 1977) was written by Theodore Sturgeon. The film Stalker is loosely based on the novel, with a screenplay written by the Strugatskys.

The brothers Arkady (Russian: ????????; August 28, 1925 – October 12, 1991) and Boris (Russian: ??????; April 14, 1933 – November 19, 2012) Strugatsky (Russian: ???????????; alternate spellings: StrugatskiyStrugatskiStrugatskii) were SovietRussian science fiction authors who collaborated on their fiction.


Boris Strugatsky: Russia mourns death of sci-fi writer

Vladimir Putin and Russia‘s liberal opposition who accuse him of growing authoritarianism have came together to mourn the death of Boris Strugatsky, a science fiction author famous for novels critical of the totalitarian Soviet system.

Strugatsky died in St Petersburg on Monday, aged 79, his foundation said. Media reports said he had been hospitalised with an illness.

 

Strugatsky, along with his brother Arkady, who died in 1991, wrote many novels and short stories critical of Soviet authoritarianism. When they began writing in the 1950s they were able to evade censors by placing subtle criticism in the context of distant planets and universes. That changed as time went on and they faced state censorship.

 

Among their most celebrated works are Roadside Picnic – the basis for director Andrei Tarkovsky’s film Stalker – and Hard to be a God – the story of a man who visits another planet and grows horrified with its government’s cruel methods of stifling human development and freedom.

Boris Strugatsky had been critical of Putin and the authoritarian system he has built since coming to power in 2000. In his last interview, given in September 2011, he accused Putin of attempting to return Russia to the turn of the 20th century.

Asked what he did not like about modern Russia, Strugatsky answered: “That nationalisation is continuing everywhere. That the press is completely under the control of the authorities. That bureaucratic power is always getting stronger.”

Strugatsky signed open letters compiled by Russian intellectuals urging Putin to release the jailed oligarch Mikhail Khodorkovsky and the punk band Pussy Riot.

Nonetheless, Putin issued his condolences, calling Strugatsky “one of the brightest, most talented and popular writers of the time.

“The books that he wrote in creative collaboration with Arkady Strugatsky are an entire epoch in the history of Russian literature, in the history of our country. Even today, they are at the highest levels of modernity.”

Dmitry Medvedev, the prime minister, wrote on Twitter that Strugatsky was “a great writer and thinker. An irreplaceable loss to Russian and world literature.”

The Strugatskys’ writings received a fresh wind of popularity in Russia earlier this year, as the growing opposition to Putin drew parallels between the dark worlds the authors depicted and modern Russia.

Dmitry Bykov, a popular poet, critic and opposition activist, wrote: “He was an absolute, pure genius. With his departure, everything has become darker and more airless.”

“Successive generations of Russian intellectuals were raised on the Strugatskys,” said Muireann Maguire, a fellow at Oxford University. “Their books can be read with a certain pair of spectacles on as political commentaries on Soviet society or indeed any repressive society.”

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The U.S. has no friends, only interests

John Foster Dulles (February 25, 1888 – May 24, 1959) served as U.S. Secretary of State under President Dwight D. Eisenhower from 1953 to 1959. He was a significant figure in the early Cold War era, advocating …

John Foster Dulles (February 25, 1888 – May 24, 1959) served as U.S. Secretary of State under President Dwight D. Eisenhower from 1953 to 1959. He was a significant figure in the early Cold War era, advocating an aggressive stance against communism throughout the world. He advocated support of the French in their war against the Viet Minh in Indochina and it is widely believed that he refused to shake the hand of Zhou Enlai at theGeneva Conference in 1954. He also played a major role in the Central Intelligence Agency operation to overthrow the democratic Mossadeghgovernment of Iran in 1953 (Operation Ajax) and the democratic Arbenz government of Guatemala in 1954 (Operation PBSUCCESS).

As Secretary of State, Dulles spent considerable time building up NATO and forming other alliances (the “Pactomania“) as part of his strategy of controlling Soviet expansion by threatening massive retaliation in event of a war, as well as building up friendships, including that of Louis Jefferson, who would later write a good-humored biography on Dulles. In 1950, he worked alongside Richard Nixon to reduce the French influence in Vietnam as well as asking the United States to attempt to cooperate with the French in the aid of strengthening Diem’s Army. Over time he came to the conclusion that it was time to “ease France out of Vietnam”[10] In 1950 He also helped instigate the ANZUS Treaty for mutual protection with Australia and New Zealand. Dulles was strongly against communism, believing it was “Godless terrorism”.[11] One of his first major policy shifts towards a more aggressive posture against communism, Dulles directed the CIA at this point now under the directorship of his brother Allen Dulles, in March 1953, to draft plans to overthrow the Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadegh in Iran [3]. This led directly to the Coup d’état via Operation Ajax in support of Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, the Shah of Iran.
After the war, the United Nations conducted a lengthy inquiry regarding the status of Eritrea, with the superpowers each vying for a stake in the state’s future. Britain, the last administrator at the time, put forth the suggestion to partition Eritrea between Sudan and Ethiopia, separating Christians and Muslims. The idea was instantly rejected by Eritrean political parties as well as the UN.[12] The United States point of view was expressed by its then chief foreign policy advisor John Foster Dulles who said:
From the point of view of justice, the opinions of the Eritrean people must receive consideration. Nevertheless, the strategic interests of the United States in the Red Sea Basin and considerations of security and world peace make it necessary that the country [Eritrea] be linked with our ally, Ethiopia.
—John Foster Dulles, 1952
A UN plebiscite voted 46 to 10 to have Eritrea be federated with Ethiopia which was later stipulated on December 2, 1950 in resolution 390 (V). Eritrea would have its own parliament and administration and would be represented in what had been the Ethiopian parliament and would become the federal parliament. In 1961 the 30-year Eritrean Struggle for Independence began, following the Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie I‘s dissolution of the federation and shutting down of Eritrea’s parliament. The Emperor declared Eritrea the fourteenth province of Ethiopia in 1962.[13]
Dulles was also the architect of the Southeast Asia Treaty Organization (SEATO) that was created in 1954. The treaty, signed by representatives of Australia, Britain, France, New Zealand, Pakistan, the Philippines, Thailand and the United States provided for collective action against aggression. In that same year, due to his relationship with his brother Allen Dulles, the Director ofCIA and a former member of the Board Of Directors of the United Fruit Company, based in Guatemala, Foster Dulles was pivotal in promoting and executing the CIA-led Operation PBSUCCESSthat overthrew the democratically elected Guatemalan government of Jacobo Arbenz Guzmán.
Dulles was one of the pioneers of massive retaliation and brinkmanship. In an article written for Life Magazine Dulles defined his policy of brinkmanship: “The ability to get to the verge without getting into the war is the necessary art.” His critics blamed him for damaging relations with Communist states and contributing to the Cold War.
Dulles upset the leaders of several non-aligned countries when on June 9, 1956, he argued in one speech that “neutrality has increasingly become an obsolete and, except under very exceptional circumstances, it is an immoral and shortsighted conception.”
In November 1956, Dulles strongly opposed the Anglo-French invasion of Egypt in response to the Suez Crisis. However, by 1958, he was an outspoken opponent of President Gamal Abdel Nasser and stopped him from receiving weapons from the United States. This policy seemingly backfired, enabling the Soviet Union to gain influence in the Middle East.
Dulles focused more attention on the Suez Crisis than on the Hungarian revolution, which was occurring simultaneously. He misunderstood the Hungarian reformist leader Imre Nagy. On October 25, 1956, he sent a telegram to the U.S. embassy in Belgrade expressing his fears that the Imre Nagy-János Kádár government might take “reprisals” against the Hungarian “freedom fighters”. By the next day, October 26, State Department officials in Washington assumed the worse about Nagy, asserting in a top secret memorandum: “Nagy’s appeal for Soviet troops indicates, at least superficially, that there are not any open differences between the Soviet and Hungarian governments”.[14][15]
Dulles also served as the Chairman and Co-founder of the Commission on a Just and Durable Peace of the Federal Council of Churches of Christ in America (succeeded by the National Council of Churches), the Chairman of the Board for the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, a Trustee of the Rockefeller Foundation from 1935 to 1952, and was a founding member of Foreign Policy Association and Council of Foreign Relations.
Dulles is said to have made the candid quote, “The United States of America does not have friends; it has interests.” With time it has become infamous in some sectors due to the country’s future (and previous) foreign policies. Yet, no such quote exists in the historical record—although these words were actually spoken by Charles De Gaulle. The myth appears to have grown out of an incident in 1958 when Dulles traveled to Mexico and anti-American protesters held up signs reading “The U.S. has no friends, only interests.”

power laws

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zipf%27s_law http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bradford%27s_law http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pareto_distribution http://www.hpl.hp.com/research/idl/papers/ranking/ranking.html http://phys.ubbcluj.ro/~zneda/edu/mc/pareto.pdf Zipf’s law /ˈzɪf/, an empirical law formulated using mathematical statistics, refers to the fact that many types of data studied in the physical and social sciences can be approximated with a Zipfian distribution, one of a family of related discrete power law probability distributions. The law is named after the […]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zipf%27s_law
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bradford%27s_law
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pareto_distribution
http://www.hpl.hp.com/research/idl/papers/ranking/ranking.html
http://phys.ubbcluj.ro/~zneda/edu/mc/pareto.pdf

Zipf’s law /?z?f/, an empirical law formulated using mathematical statistics, refers to the fact that many types of data studied in the physical and social sciences can be approximated with a Zipfian distribution, one of a family of related discrete power law probability distributions. The law is named after the American linguist George Kingsley Zipf (1902–1950), who popularized it and sought to explain it (Zipf 1935, 1949), though he did not claim to have originated it.[1] The French stenographer Jean-Baptiste Estoup (1868–1950) appears to have noticed the regularity before Zipf.[2] It was also noted in 1913 by German physicist Felix Auerbach[3] (1856–1933).