Hobbes and the Royal Society

Noel Malcolm

in Aspects of Hobbes

Published in print November 2002 | ISBN: 9780199247141
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191597992 | DOI:
 Hobbes and the Royal  Society

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Offers an answer to the question: why was Hobbes never elected a Fellow of the Royal Society? It argues that although the Royal Society was in many ways more like a club than a modern academic institution, Hobbes's exclusion cannot be explained simply on personal grounds. The notoriety of his political and theological position was embarrassing to the scientists of the Royal Society because his mechanistic world‐view was in fact similar to theirs: their underlying agreement with him, as much as their more visible disagreements with him, was the cause of their eagerness to dissociate themselves from him.

Keywords: Joseph Glanvill; Hobbes; mechanistic world‐view; Royal Society

Chapter.  10147 words. 

Subjects: History of Western Philosophy

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