Robert Payne, the Hobbes Manuscripts, and the ‘Short Tract’

Noel Malcolm

in Aspects of Hobbes

Published in print November 2002 | ISBN: 9780199247141
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191597992 | DOI:
 Robert Payne, the Hobbes Manuscripts, and the ‘Short Tract’

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Presents the discovery that the majority of the so‐called ‘Hobbes Manuscripts’ preserved at Chatsworth are not in Hobbes's hand, but in that of his friend Robert Payne; they probably passed to Hobbes only after Payne's death. Using this information, and a reconstruction of part of Payne's library, it describes Payne's career and intellectual life, and tries to assess the nature of his relationship with Hobbes. It also examines the quasi‐mechanistic treatise known as the ‘Short Tract’ (another manuscript in Payne's hand), and argues that this work was composed not by Hobbes (as has generally been assumed) but by Payne.

Keywords: Short Tract; Hobbes; mechanistic world‐view; Robert Payne

Chapter.  38425 words. 

Subjects: History of Western Philosophy

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