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A Tale of Two Fears: Lucretius, Hobbes, and the Political Psychology of Anxiety

November 16, 2015 @ 3:30 pm - 5:00 pm

Portrait image of Daniel Kapust outdoors wearing glasses, a black shirt, and a black backpack.

 

Monday Seminar:

Daniel Kapust

Political Science, UW-Madison

Resident Fellow (2015-2016)

 

Fear is one of the most salient political emotions. The philosophers Hobbes and Lucretius each considered fear in their writings on civil war. Lucretius argued that the fear of death led to civil war. Although Lucretius deeply influenced Hobbes, Hobbes promoted a fear of death, arguing that this fear prevented civil war. What are we to make of the place of the fear of death in Hobbes’ and Lucretius’ philosophies? And how does this difference shape their eirenic projects—their work to ensure peace?

 

Daniel Kapust is Associate Professor of Political Science, and affiliated with the Department of Classical and Ancient Near Eastern Studies and the Center for Early Modern Studies. A political theorist, he centers his research on rhetoric and republicanism, themes he explores in Roman, early modern, 18th century, and contemporary political thought. His work includes Republicanism, Rhetoric, and Roman Political Thought (Cambridge University Press, 2011), and he has published or had accepted for publication articles and chapters on Cicero, Sallust, Livy, Tacitus, Machiavelli, Hobbes, Rousseau, and Adam Smith. His research has appeared in the American Political Science ReviewJournal of PoliticsPolitical TheoryHistory of Political ThoughtEuropean Journal of Political TheoryPolitical Studies, and Journal of the History of Ideas. Currently, he is working on a book project on flattery and political theory, and articles on Hobbes and Lucretius and deliberative democracy and the justification of war.

Details

Date:
November 16, 2015
Time:
3:30 pm - 5:00 pm
Event Categories:
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Venue

University Club, Room 212
432 East Campus Mall
Madison, Wisconsin 53703 United States