14 Hobbes and the European Republic of Letters

I

'So racy as they were of the soil, it is in England that we are to look for the proper effect or development of Hobbes's ideas.' 1 The phrasing used by George Croom Robertson when he penned this judgement in 1886 may have dated quite rapidly (the Oxford English Dictionary defines 'racy of the soil' as 'characteristic of a certain country or people', giving examples only from 1870 and 1889), but the sentiment has not altogether disappeared. Anglophone scholars still tend to discuss not only the intellectual context of Hobbes's work, but also its influence and the responses it aroused, in a largely Anglocentric way. The fact that Leviathan is in English—a masterpiece, indeed, of seventeenth-century discursive and polemical prose—must be partly responsible for this; Hobbes's philosophy speaks the vernacular with such ease and such force that it may seem natural for any reader to assume that there is something peculiarly English about it. And from that assumption it is only a short step to supposing that continental readers must have found Hobbes's works somehow alien (even if they read them in Latin, or some other European language), and that they cannot have felt the impress of his arguments quite so deeply as those readers who were rooted in the same 'soil'. Samuel Mintz, in what is still the only general study of the early reaction to Hobbes's philosophy, commented especially on the power of Hobbes's English prose style; to the continental critics, who would presumably have been impervious to its attractions, he devoted just under three of the 156 pages of his text. 2

Yet it has long been known to Hobbes scholars that this English philosopher had a thoroughly European intellectual formation: he read widely in the universal language of European culture (Latin), he acquired a high level of competence in

-457-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Aspects of Hobbes
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen
/ 644

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.