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University of Michigan Law School

Reviews

Legal History

1997

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Review Of Reason And Rhetoric In The Philosophy Of Hobbes, Donald J. Herzog Jan 1997

Review Of Reason And Rhetoric In The Philosophy Of Hobbes, Donald J. Herzog

Reviews

In the 1960s, Quentin Skinner wrote a series of polemical if terse papers arguing that the conventional approach to the history of political theory was confused. Using Hobbes as something of a vehicle for his position, Skinner enunciated what is now well known as the "Cambridge" approach to political theory. He urged that we situate authors in their intellectual contexts so that we can isolate what is distinctive, perhaps subversive, in their use of language: only then, he argued, can we have any valid historical understanding on what they are doing in writing these weird books in the first place ...