Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

2018 Second Biennial European Hobbes Society Conference


The broad theme of the conference will be Hobbes’s De Cive, and the conference will include some invited speakers presenting draft chapters for Hobbes’s ‘On the Citizen’: A Critical Guide which is under contract with Cambridge University Press.

Date: 14-16 May 2018
Location: Main Library, University of Amsterdam
Confirmed speakers include prof. Deborah Baumgold (Oregon); prof. Kinch Hoekstra (UC Berkeley); prof. Thomas Holden (UCSB); prof. Michael LeBuffe (Otago); prof. A.P. Martinich (Texas); prof. Johann Sommerville (Wisconsin-Madison); dr. Alison McQueen (Stanford).

Attendance at the conference is free and open to all European Hobbes Society members, but the number of places is limited and will be allocated on a first-come, first-serve basis. All participants are strongly encouraged to have a look at the pre-circulated papers in advance of the conference. Places will of course be reserved for everyone presenting papers, but if you would like to attend in a non-presenting capacity then please send an e-mail Johan Olsthoorn to reserve your place. Those not presenting are welcome to serve as respondents to one of the papers.

We gratefully acknowledge generous financial support from the Amsterdam Centre for Political Thought, AISSR-Challenges research group, the Fritz Thyssen Foundation and the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences.

More information: LINK.

In case of any queries, contact Johan Olsthoorn:


Monday 14 May

09.30-10.00 Welcome, coffee and tea
10.00-10.15 Opening talk by the organisers

Session 1
10.15-11.15 Deborah Baumgold (Oregon) – ‘Dating On the Citizen
11.25-12.25 Kinch Hoekstra & Nicholas Gooding (UC Berkeley) – ‘Hobbes and Aristotle on the natural principles of politics’
12.25-13.45 Lunch, served in the Main Library

Session 2
13.45-14.45 Susanne Sreedhar (Boston University) – ‘The right of nature and the right to all things’
14.55-15.55 Michael LeBuffe (Otago) – ‘Motivation and the good’

Session 3
16.15-17.15 Laurens van Apeldoorn (Leiden) – ‘Rex est Populus: the sovereign and the state’
17.15-17.45 General meeting of the European Hobbes Society
19.00 Conference dinner at Kantjil & De Tijger

Tuesday 15 May

Session 4
10.00-11.00 Michael J. Green (Pomona) – ‘Personation, authorization and group agency in On the Citizen
11.10-12.10 A.P. Martinich (Texas) – ‘Sovereign-making and biblical covenants’
12.10-13.30 Lunch, served in the Main Library

Session 5
13.30-14.30 Alison McQueen (Stanford) – ‘Hobbes’s scriptural arguments in On the Citizen’
14.40-15.40 Thomas Holden (USCB) – ‘Religious passions’

Session 6
16.00-17.00 Johann P. Sommerville (Wisconsin-Madison) – ‘On the Citizen’s views on religion and church-state relations in historical context’
19.00 Informal dinner; venue TBA

Wednesday 16 May

Session 7
09.30-10.30 Rosemarie Wagner (UC Berkeley) – ‘Legal obligation and punishment in On the Citizen’
10.40-11.40 Joannis Evrigenis (Tufts) – ‘The political economy of On the Citizen
11.50-12.50 S.A. Lloyd (USC) – ‘Sociability and motivation in On the Citizen
13.00 Concluding lunch at Café De Jaren