Prof. Quentin Skinner holds the Spinoza Chair of the Department of Philosophy of the Faculty of Humanities in the second term of the academic year 2013-2014 and will be delivering the accompanying Spinoza Lectures.
Hobbes received a humanist education, in which one central element was the study of rhetorical theories of persuasion and proof. According to the rhetoricians, if we are attempting to induce belief we must know how to arouse the emotions of our readers in addition to supplying them with evidence and proof. One powerful method of persuasion was held to be that of turning auditors into spectators by making them ‘see’ what is being argued. These conceptions help to account for the rise to prominence in early-modern humanistic literature of complex iconographical frontispieces. Hobbes commissioned and helped to design three such frontispieces: the first for his translation of Thucydides, the second for De cive and the third for Leviathan (1651). The lecture examines the insights offered by these illustrations into the character and development of Hobbes’s theory of the state.
Prof. Quentin Skinner is Barber Beaumont Professor of the Humanities at Queen Mary, University of London.
The Spinoza Lectures are given by high-profile thinkers of our time. They are intended for a wide audience that would like to keep abreast of current developments in philosophy. The lectures are delivered by professors holding the Spinoza Chair of the Department of Philosophy of the Faculty of Humanities.
Admission is free (no reservation required).