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Department of Political Science and Public Administration


Doctoral Dissertation in progress

"Passions and emotions as foundations of the civil society: a comparative study of Epicurus and Hobbes"

Commencement date: November 22, 2022


The focal point of the present research is the interpretation of the epicurean and hobbesian notions of ‘passions’ and ‘emotions’ for the foundation of civil society and justice, which it entails. Therefore, the principal objective of this thesis is the in-depth examination and the normative evaluation of hedonism which stems from the political character of passions and emotions in Epicurus and Hobbes.

In particular, the main focus will be given to the study of the political character of passions and emotions as foundations of civil society in the thought of the two philosophers. Additionally, the thesis will look at the hedonistic purposes of the conquest of what are defined in epicurean terms as καταστήματα (states) ἀπονίας (painlessness) and ἀταραξίας (tranquility), and as commodious living in the hobbesian ones. Finally, within the aims of this study is also the evaluation of the compatibility between the prima facie self-referential character of emotions and the hetero-refential character of the political community.