Research Workshop on Thomas Hobbes

March 21-22, 2009, McGill University, Montreal


This two-day workshop brings together a number of scholars working on Hobbes today to discuss two recent book-length manuscripts: Thomas Hobbes and the Creation of Order by Kinch Hoekstra and The Oscillations of Thomas Hobbes by Arash Abizadeh. We are hoping that these draft manuscripts will be the catalyst for a lively and fruitful discussion. Topics include Hobbes's treatment of morals, politics, religion, language, mind, and knowledge.


Format: To maximize the quality of discussion, participants are expected to have read the two manuscripts beforehand. Each panel will begin with two fifteen minute critiques of a section of the manuscript, followed by a brief response by the author and general discussion.


Registration: The workshop is open to everyone, but attendance is by registration and limited in number. Those wishing to attend should RSVP the workshop coordinator Douglas Hanes <>.


Manuscripts: Click on link for access to manuscripts. Access requires a password, which all participants will receive upon registration. (Note to Mac users: to open the pdfs successfully you must ensure that your browser is opening the file with the latest version of Adobe Acrobat Reader -- and not Preview, for example.)


Hobbes and the Creation of Order (draft 3)


The Oscillations of Thomas Hobbes (draft 3)






Saturday March 21
Arts 160, McGill University


9:55 am                                     Welcome

10:00 am – 11:45 am:               Mental Inspection and Linguistic Convention

Chair:                           Emily Carson (McGill, philosophy)

Commentators:             Douglas Jesseph (South Florida, philosophy)

                                    Justin E. H. Smith (Concordia, philosophy)

Author/Respondent:      Arash Abizadeh (McGill, politics)


11:45 – 1pm:                            Lunch Break


1:00 pm – 2:45 pm:                   The State of Nature

Chair:                            Dario Perinetti (UQAM, philosophy)

Commentators:              Ioannis Evrigenis (Tufts, politics)

 Jacob Levy (McGill, politics)

Author/Respondent:       Kinch Hoekstra (Berkeley, politics/law)


2:45 pm – 3:00 pm:                   Coffee Break


3 pm – 4:45 pm:                        Morals and War

Chair:                            Catherine Lu (McGill, politics)

Commentators:              Michael LeBuffe (Texas A&M, philosophy)

                                     Patrick Neal (Vermont, politics)

Author/Respondent:       Arash Abizadeh (McGill, politics)


5 pm:                                         Reception


6:30 pm:                                    Dinner



Sunday March 22
Arts 160, McGill University

9:30 am – 11:15 am:                  Commonwealth by Acquisition and Institution

Chair:                            Christina Tarnopolsky (McGill, politics)

Commentators:              Michael Green (Pomona, philosophy)

                                     Travis Smith (Concordia, politics)

Author/Respondent:       Kinch Hoekstra (Berkeley, politics/law)


11:15 am – 12:30 pm:                Lunch Break


12:30 pm – 2:15 pm:                  Sovereignty & the State’s Ideological Program

Chair:                            Vera Keller (McGill, history)

Commentators:              Jeffrey Collins (Queen’s, history)

                                     Will Roberts (McGill, philosophy/politics)

Author/Respondent:       Arash Abizadeh (McGill, politics)


2:15 pm – 2:30 pm: Coffee Break


2:30 pm – 4:15 pm:                   Justice Made Reasonable? The Reply to the Foole

Chair:                            Victor Muniz-Fraticelli (McGill, politics/law)

Commentators:              Tom Sorell (Birmingham, philosophy)

                                     Ed King (Concordia, politics)

Author/Respondent:       Kinch Hoekstra (Berkeley, politics/law)


4:30 pm:                                    Reception



Click here for participants' bios.


This workshop has been made possible by generous support from the Dean of Arts Development Fund (McGill), Department of Political Science (University of California – Berkeley), Groupe de recherche interuniversitaire en philosophie politique de Montréal (GRIPP), Department of Political Science (McGill), and Department of Philosophy (McGill).