The Dennes Room

Event Detail

Fri Jan 22, 2021
Zoom, 4–6 PM
Renaissance and Early Modern Studies
Sandra Leonie Field (Yale-NUS College)
Renaissance and Early Modern Studies Book Talk: *Potentia: Hobbes and Spinoza on Power and Popular Politics * (Oxford University Press)

The book draws on the political writings of Hobbes and Spinoza to establish a conceptual framework for understanding the genesis, risks, and promise of popular power. Radical democrats–whether drawing on Hobbes’s “sleeping sovereign” or on Spinoza’s “multitude”–understand popular power as moments transcending ordinary institutional politics (e.g. popular plebiscites or mass movements). However, a focus on the concept of power as potential generates a new approach to popular power, according to which its true center lies in the slow, meticulous work of organizational design and maintenance. The book makes an original contribution at the intersection of early modern philosophy and democratic theory.

Zoom link: Meeting ID: 944 8868 8569 Passcode: potentia