Freedom in Hobbes's Ontology and Semantics: A Comment on Quentin Skinner

Date

2012

Authors

Pettit, Philip

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Journal ISSN

Volume Title

Publisher

Johns Hopkins University Press

Abstract

The development of Hobbes's thinking about freedom illustrates a general thesis: that the conceptual shifts tracked in contextualist analysis may sometimes be 'semantic' rather than 'ontological' in character; they may be changes in how thinkers apply certain words and concepts to the social world, as they conceive of it, rather than changes in their conception of that world. Quentin Skinner has provided an illuminating account of the shifts in Hobbes's thinking about freedom, thereby illustrating his own contextualist approach, but under minor, albeit independently interesting revisions, the account bears out this claim about semantics and ontology.

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Citation

Source

Journal of the History of Ideas

Type

Journal article

Book Title

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DOI

10.1353/jhi.2012.0008

Restricted until

2037-12-31