[hist-analytic] McPherson on Hobbes: status/simple market/possessive market

Jlsperanza at aol.com Jlsperanza at aol.com
Sun Feb 14 19:17:56 EST 2010

In a message dated 2/14/2010 6:48:23 P.M. Eastern Standard Time,  
Baynesr at comcast.net writes:
"What characterizes all of them  are
certain market conditions. They are The Status Society,
the Simple  Market Society and the the Possessive  Market

These are very good. As you say _anything_ that analyses or cares to  
analyse what was meant by Hobbes by his state of 'nature' is welcome!
--- A good point about the 'myth', other than the Cassirer thing you quote  
(I like Cassirer) is the idea of
Wonder if McPherson talks about it, or considers that the passage from  
those three sub-varieties onto 'the state we're in' is viewed as  
I tried to track down the use of 'evolutionary' in Grice, but failed (to  
what extent, for example, the conventional, arbitrary, system of signs we 
call  'language' we have is an evolution over pooh-pooh).
   If McPherson is abstracting, and thinking as you say that this  is 
counter-factual, etc he must be keeping at leas the _desires_ as fixed. No  
evolution there. So he may need a 'change' of conditions, environment, or  
whatever, to 'justify' or at least 'explain' the change from one status to the  
other (or state to the other). This would be, as you say, 'de facto'. (If you  
say that). Rather than 'de iure'. 
  At this point, he (or your reading of him) may want to consider  whether 
that is not a bit 'rough', or too rough. We may claim that our desires  have 
NOT changed, but the point for a philosopher to (at least) conceive is  
whether they should NOT have changed. It is when we find Hobbes's views as  
_explanatory_ rather than descriptive that we start caring for him as a  
'philosopher'. For an account of how the transition from one state to the other  
is achieved along empirical lines we go to palaeontology, archaeology, 
history,  prehistory, sociology, biosociology, ethology, even economics. For a  
philosophical _theory_ or as I prefer 'analysis', we go to philosophers: we go 
 to Hobbes. (We may NOT go to McPherson if you'll tell me he only taught, 
say,  Ethology at ... -- just joking!) 
  (So perhaps you can provide briefly, in terms of agents's desires,  in 
what ways those three substates consist and diverge. And what main  
'transmutation' is effected in the State 2 -- with the previous ones as State 1,  
State 1' and State 1".).

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