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This is a digitized version of an article from The Times’s print archive, before the start of online publication in 1996.
"Hobbes had a different set of concerns than Machiavelli.
Hobbes wrote at a time of religious wars and was trying to bring religion under civil authority.
His experiences as a monk and a priest were fulfilling to his Catholic enlightenment.
For example, his trip to Withberg to receive the sub-prior position helped Luther to gain respect and earn more important and valued positions with in the Church.
"Many scholars have dismissed Machiavelli's work as not philosophical and therefore not to be taken seriously," she said.
Machiavelli Essay Thesis
"But this collection of writings by Hobbes, which clearly shows where he got his ideas, reveals that it was Machiavelli who set the agenda for modern political thought."Not only does it show that Hobbes was preoccupied with the role of a political leader in a newly founded state -- a central theme in Machiavelli's ' The Prince' -- but it uses phrases that recall Machiavelli's language."John Pocock, a professor emeritus of the history of political thought at Johns Hopkins University, disagreed vehemently with Professor Saxonhouse's conclusions."Machiavelli wasn't even a philosopher," Professor Pocock said with disdain.It has taken more than 300 years, but Thomas Hobbes, the 17th-century English political philosopher, has a new book out.And what its editors suggest about the birth of modern political thought has reawakened an old debate and set scholars to hurling metaphorical ink pots at each other.Many people say that Martin Luther started the Protestant Reformation by nailing his 95 theses on the front gate of the Catholic Church.Some of these people also say that these theses were an attack on the Church. Martin Luther, a brilliant philosopher during the Renaissance, traveled to Rome in 1511 as the delegated representative of seven allied Augustinian monasteries to protest against some improvements of Staupitz.His 95 theses were the foundation of the Protestant Reformation, while Machiavelli used his skills as a writer, with The Prince, and other works, to bring to light the issues of politics.Known as the father of modern day politics, Machiavelli took his ideas public and changed government, as we know it.In one of the most bruising clashes to appear in an academic journal (in this case, Political Theory, in the early 1970's) Professor Mansfield, a Straussian political scientist, said that traditionalists who could not accept Strauss's notion that Machiavelli was the "harbinger of modernity" were unfairly giving Strauss "the silent treatment."Professor Pocock, a leading specialists in Hobbes, responded by asserting that the Straussians were becoming paranoid, stooping to such tactics as filling departmental vacancies only with true believers and refusing to attend classes taught by non-Straussians.Amid some less-than-lighthearted talk of "plunging bayonets" into each other, Professor Mansfield counterattacked by denouncing Professor Pocock for "misrepresentations, insults and name calling."In 1972, Professor Saxonhouse, a Straussian, was an untenured assistant professor at the University of Michigan when she wandered into the crossfire.The attribution to Hobbes of a collection of three essays published anonymously early in his career -- currently reissued under Hobbes's name by the University of Chicago Press -- is chiefly due to decades of perseverance by one of the editors, Arlene W.Saxonhouse, a professor of political science at the University of Michigan.