Apr 5: The post I forgot to title

Okay, first of all, Hobbes uses "from whence," which I was told you should never do. And Goldsmith used it yesterday. So there. (Actually, in these less formal times, you should probably never use "whence" under any circumstances; but it's nice to know that, should one insist on a certain dandyish ├ęclat to one's sentences, "from whence" has impeccable sanction.)

Secondly, I became inclined to Hobbes's side because of this:
Nevertheless it is not prudence that distinguisheth man from beast. There be beasts that at a year old observe more, and pursue that which is for their good more prudently than a child can do at ten.
I've had a ten-year-old in the house and agree heartily.

Thirdly, much of this passage brought me back to college -- specifically, the part of college when I had to read philosophy, and woul realize I've just read between two and five pages of this tome and registered none of it. If I close my eyes I can see the fluorescent lighting now. (In retrospect I realize I should have bought more used, already-highlighted books.) I think it was this part that brought back those fluorescent-lit evenings:
All fancies are motions with in us, relics of those made in the sense, and those motions that immediately succeeded one another in the sense continue also together after sense...
I can't bring myself to excerpt any more of that sentence.

As a consequence of thirdly, I would have to say that fourthly I can't be relied on to file a good report of these chapters "Of Imagination" and "Of the Consequence or Trail of Imaginations," except to note that, for all his eye-glazing potential, Hobbes (whom I've never read) is kind of entertaining when he's on the attack. Sometimes it happens in the same sentence, viz:
No man therefore can conceive anything but he must conceive it in some place, and indued with some determinate magnitude, and which may be divided into parts; nor that anything is all in this place and all in another place at the same time; nor that two or more things can be in one and the same place at once: for none of these things ever have or can be incident to sense, but are absurd speeches, taken upon credit, without any signification at all, from deceived philosophers, and deceived or deceiving schoolmen.
Before the colon? Boring philosopher. After the colon? Interesting blogger. A right-wing one, I suspect:
If this superstitious fear of spirits were taken away, and with it prognostics from dreams, false prophecies, and many other things depending thereon, by which crafty ambitious persons abuse the simple people, men would be much more fitted than they are for civil obedience.
That's what we need more of around here -- civil obedience. While not necessarily sharing Hobbes's thirst for that goal, I have to note that I think he's dead wrong. Nothing conjures up civil obedience faster than fear and dreams of ticking-bomb scenarios and the like.

I don't know how much more (if any) Hobbes is scheduled for this year. I suspect he's too cranky for the editors of the DRG to serve up too often. But I'm down for it.

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