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Made with words [electronic resource] : Hobbes on language, mind, and politics / Philip Pettit.

By: Pettit, Philip, 1945-.
Material type: TextTextPublisher: Princeton : Princeton University Press, c2008Description: 1 online resource (183 p.).ISBN: 9781400828227 (electronic bk.); 1400828228 (electronic bk.).Subject(s): Hobbes, Thomas, 1588-1679 | Hobbes, Thomas | PHILOSOPHY -- History & Surveys -- ModernGenre/Form: Electronic books.Additional physical formats: Print version:: Made with words.DDC classification: 192 Online resources: EBSCOhost
Contents:
Mind in nature -- Minds with words -- Using words to ratiocinate -- Using words to personate -- Using words to incorporate -- Words and the warping of appetite -- The state of second, worded nature -- The commonwealth of ordered words.
Summary: Hobbes's extreme political views have commanded so much attention that they have eclipsed his work on language and mind, and on reasoning, personhood, and group formation. But this work is of immense interest in itself, as Philip Pettit shows in Made with Words, and it critically shapes Hobbes's political philosophy. Pettit argues that it was Hobbes, not later thinkers like Rousseau, who invented the invention of language thesis--the idea that language is a cultural innovation that transformed the human mind. The invention, in Hobbes's story, is a double-edged sword. It enables human beings to reason, commit themselves as persons, and incorporate in groups. But it also allows them to agonize about the future and about their standing relative to one another; it takes them out of the Eden of animal silence and into a life of inescapable conflict--the state of nature. Still, if language leads into this wasteland, according to Hobbes, it can also lead out. It can enable people to establish a commonwealth where the words of law and morality have a common, enforceable sense, and where people can invoke the sanctions of an absolute sovereign to give their words to one another in credible commitment and contract. --From publisher's description.
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Includes bibliographical references (p. [169]-175) and index.

Mind in nature -- Minds with words -- Using words to ratiocinate -- Using words to personate -- Using words to incorporate -- Words and the warping of appetite -- The state of second, worded nature -- The commonwealth of ordered words.

Hobbes's extreme political views have commanded so much attention that they have eclipsed his work on language and mind, and on reasoning, personhood, and group formation. But this work is of immense interest in itself, as Philip Pettit shows in Made with Words, and it critically shapes Hobbes's political philosophy. Pettit argues that it was Hobbes, not later thinkers like Rousseau, who invented the invention of language thesis--the idea that language is a cultural innovation that transformed the human mind. The invention, in Hobbes's story, is a double-edged sword. It enables human beings to reason, commit themselves as persons, and incorporate in groups. But it also allows them to agonize about the future and about their standing relative to one another; it takes them out of the Eden of animal silence and into a life of inescapable conflict--the state of nature. Still, if language leads into this wasteland, according to Hobbes, it can also lead out. It can enable people to establish a commonwealth where the words of law and morality have a common, enforceable sense, and where people can invoke the sanctions of an absolute sovereign to give their words to one another in credible commitment and contract. --From publisher's description.

Description based on print version record.

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Made with words by Pettit, Philip, ©2008
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