"When Hobbes is an Optimist: Politics Among the Malevolent" by Loren Lomasky


Loren LomaskyLoren Lomasky is a Professor of Political Philosophy, as well as the Director of the Political Philosophy, Policy and Law Program at the University of Virginia. Lomasky spoke to a classroom of JMU students and professors during his seminar in Showker Hall on Wednesday, Jan.  22 as the first Gilliam speaker of the semester.

He is the author of a number of works regarding philosophical ideas. His book “Persons, Rights, and the Moral Community” (Oxford University Press, 1987) is his key credential to his reputation of leading education concerning acceptable approaches to moral and social issues. Over the course of his seminar, Lomasky addressed the advocacy of Hobbeism, the study of Thomas Hobbes in his own, unique interpretation of Hobbeism.

Thomas Hobbes was an early English philosopher who centered most of his work on the issue of social and political order. Lomasky explained that many philosophers consider Hobbes a pessimist because he focuses much of his attention on the malevolence of our society. Yet, Hobbeism accepts and embraces the idea that man is a self-interested animal and therefore poses a threat to other individuals. He interprets humans’ self-interest as a beneficial factor to society because it forces governments to create a civil order and allows us to focus more on our self, rather than the negative aspects of those around us.

By Morgan Touey
SCOM & WRTC - BA | James Madison University
Co-Coordinator of Professional Development | JMU PRSSA

Published: Monday, January 27, 2014

Last Updated: Wednesday, June 8, 2016

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