Hobbes’s Robinson-Particles

Political Arithmetic and Mercantile Empiricism


If the imposture of Chaos proves so tenacious, it is because it seems to have substantiated the myth of an invisible power, an operator that is at once engineer and umpire, full of solicitude for every atom of will, and which asks only that we ‘allow for emergence’ and ‘let things be’. But we shall see that this innocent game in fact inscribes itself in the lineage of a far crueller thought experiment, that of Hobbes’s fiction of the state of nature, which founds and introduces ‘Civil Philosophy’, the ‘science of the just and unjust consequences of the accidents of political bodies’…