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Hobbes and Spinoza in the 21st Century
Recent interest in Hobbes and Spinoza has tended to focus on their ideas in historical context. From this perspective, Hobbes is acknowledged to be an important influence on Spinoza, and both are key figures in the development of modern political philosophy and science. Yet many current moral and political thinkers overlook Hobbes and Spinoza, and the connection between them, thus losing out on a major source of insight for current moral and political issues. While some recent notable discussions of Hobbes and Spinoza have applied their methods and ideas to contemporary problems, we think that these discussions are deserving of both greater attention and continued development.
The relative lack of appreciation for Hobbes and Spinoza in contemporary political and moral thought, concomitant with a renaissance in historically oriented Hobbes and Spinoza scholarship, points to the need for increased dialogue between these two domains. To this end, our conference will facilitate this dialogue in order to promote further application of Hobbes's and Spinoza's ideas to contemporary moral and political issues.