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Idle thoughts on Hobbes

So, in case you were wondering, even in the 17th century sexiness is considered a source of power.

Forme is power; because being a promise of Good, it recommendeth men to the favour of women and strangers.

Larry Scott, Mr. Olympia himself The only question that remains, given Hobbes’ obession with proper definition of terms and all, is what does he mean by Forme and what does he mean by favour, and is the favour women and strangers of the same kind? Our doubt as to what Forme might mean is somewhat cleared up by the OED: Forme is either beauty (as can be seen in the example it provides from the 1611 translation of the Bible “hee hath no forme or comlinesse”) or the shape or figure of the body (as seen in the ca. 1400 translation of the Roman de la Rose Hir shappe, hir fourme, hir goodly chere li. 2810). But, we don’t know if Hobbes is speaking of Larry Scott Mr. Beckham, defrocked captain of the boys in St. George's Cross or David Beckham… the strong, fit, formly man, or the beautiful metrosexual. Either way, though, it’s a form of power that promises the Good(s); this promise, in turn, gives the possessor an advantage over the one who does not possess this trait. Forme, as later turned into science by physionomy and phrenology, points to Good; beauty to character; strength to virility.

Manners…

When Hobbes speaks of Manners, you should know he does not mean:

Decency of Behaviour; as how one man should salute another, or how a man should wash his mouth, or pick his teeth before [in front of, I assume] company, and such other points of the Small Morals; But those qualities of man-kind, that concern their living together in Peace, and Unity.

Swearing is another bothersome matter he clears up for us.

There is no swearing by anything which the Swearer thinks not God… And that Swearing unnecessarily by God, is but prophaning his name: and Swearing by other things, as men do in common discourse, is not Swearing, but an impious Custome gotten by too much vehemence of talking.

 

Comments

this is definitely not one of my better leviathan posts… but i did it at 3 am, despite the time stamp, in a state of giddy exhaustion… when i should’ve just stepped away from the keyboard.

On the plus side, it’s got good pictures.