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Marcus P. Adams
State University of New York, Albany
  1.  82
    Hobbes's Laws of Nature in Leviathan as a Synthetic Demonstration: Thought Experiments and Knowing the Causes.Marcus P. Adams - 2019 - Philosophers' Imprint 19 (5).
    The status of the laws of nature in Hobbes’s Leviathan has been a continual point of disagreement among scholars. Many agree that since Hobbes claims that civil philosophy is a science, the answer lies in an understanding of the nature of Hobbesian science more generally. In this paper, I argue that Hobbes’s view of the construction of geometrical figures sheds light upon the status of the laws of nature. In short, I claim that the laws play the same role as (...)
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  2. Hobbes on Natural Philosophy as "True Physics" and Mixed Mathematics.Marcus P. Adams - 2016 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 56:43-51.
    I offer an alternative account of the relationship of Hobbesian geometry to natural philosophy by arguing that mixed mathematics provided Hobbes with a model for thinking about it. In mixed mathematics, one may borrow causal principles from one science and use them in another science without there being a deductive relationship between those two sciences. Natural philosophy for Hobbes is mixed because an explanation may combine observations from experience (the ‘that’) with causal principles from geometry (the ‘why’). My argument shows (...)
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  3. The Wax and the Mechanical Mind: Reexamining Hobbes's Objections to Descartes's Meditations.Marcus P. Adams - 2014 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 22 (3):403-424.
    Many critics, Descartes himself included, have seen Hobbes as uncharitable or even incoherent in his Objections to the Meditations on First Philosophy. I argue that when understood within the wider context of his views of the late 1630s and early 1640s, Hobbes's Objections are coherent and reflect his goal of providing an epistemology consistent with a mechanical philosophy. I demonstrate the importance of this epistemology for understanding his Fourth Objection concerning the nature of the wax and contend that Hobbes's brief (...)
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  4. Hobbes, Definitions, and Simplest Conceptions.Marcus P. Adams - 2014 - Hobbes Studies 27 (1):35-60.
    Several recent commentators argue that Thomas Hobbes’s account of the nature of science is conventionalist. Engaging in scientific practice on a conventionalist account is more a matter of making sure one connects one term to another properly rather than checking one’s claims, e.g., by experiment. In this paper, I argue that the conventionalist interpretation of Hobbesian science accords neither with Hobbes’s theoretical account in De corpore and Leviathan nor with Hobbes’s scientific practice in De homine and elsewhere. Closely tied to (...)
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  5.  58
    Visual Perception as Patterning: Cavendish Against Hobbes on Sensation.Marcus P. Adams - 2016 - History of Philosophy Quarterly 33 (3):193-214.
    Many of Margaret Cavendish’s criticisms of Thomas Hobbes in the Philosophical Letters (1664) relate to the disorder and damage that she holds would result if Hobbesian pressure were the cause of visual perception. In this paper, I argue that her “two men” thought experiment in Letter IV is aimed at a different goal: to show the explanatory potency of her account. First, I connect Cavendish’s view of visual perception as “patterning” to the “two men” thought experiment in Letter IV. Second, (...)
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  6. Demarcating Aristotelian Rhetoric: Rhetoric, the Subalternate Sciences, and Boundary Crossing.Marcus P. Adams - 2015 - Apeiron 48 (1):99-122.
    The ways in which the Aristotelian sciences are related to each other has been discussed in the literature, with some focus on the subalternate sciences. While it is acknowledged that Aristotle, and Plato as well, was concerned as well with how the arts were related to one another, less attention has been paid to Aristotle's views on relationships among the arts. In this paper, I argue that Aristotle's account of the subalternate sciences helps shed light on how Aristotle saw the (...)
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  7.  76
    Natural Philosophy, Deduction, and Geometry in the Hobbes-Boyle Debate.Marcus P. Adams - 2017 - Hobbes Studies 30 (1):83-107.
    This paper examines Hobbes’s criticisms of Robert Boyle’s air-pump experiments in light of Hobbes’s account in _De Corpore_ and _De Homine_ of the relationship of natural philosophy to geometry. I argue that Hobbes’s criticisms rely upon his understanding of what counts as “true physics.” Instead of seeing Hobbes as defending natural philosophy as “a causal enterprise … [that] as such, secured total and irrevocable assent,” 1 I argue that, in his disagreement with Boyle, Hobbes relied upon his understanding of natural (...)
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